HARRISBURG – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Houtzdale, announced that the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority Tuesday awarded the Houtzdale Municipal Authority a $9.3 million, low-interest loan for a regional drinking water project that includes new water sources and improvements to the treatment plant.
“The project will provide safe and reliable water for almost 6,000 residents served by the authority,” said George, who voted for the financing as a PENNVEST board member. “The project will enable the authority to meet the terms of a consent order and agreement that was sought to protect Mountain Branch and Moshannon Creek.”
George said the Moshannon Creek Water Improvement project should impose no additional financial burdens on authority customers in Houtzdale, Ramey and Brisbin boroughs and all or parts of Bigler, Gulich, Woodward, Beccaria and Decatur townships.
“A PENNVEST analysis concluded that the authority’s current cash flow is ‘more than adequate’ to support the financing,” George said.
The project, expected to begin next May and take about one year to complete, includes construction of a Moshannon Creek raw water intake and well, a 26,000-foot transmission line and pump station and improvements to the filtration plant.
The 20-year loan is at 1.27 percent for the first five years and 2.55 percent for the remaining 15 years.
Concerns about water withdrawals prompted the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation to appeal a water supply permit issued in 1997. Settlement of the appeal required the municipal authority to monitor water-withdrawal impacts on streams, springs, seeps and groundwater.