Clearfield County Receives $1 Million Grant for Decatur Township Sewer Project

CLEARFIELD – Residents of Decatur Township will soon benefit from improved sanitary sewers.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Community Development Specialist Lisa Kovalick told the Clearfield County Commissioners that the county has received a $1 million grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Kovalick said the county had applied for a Community Development Block Grant in 2016. The grant was to be used to improve sanitary sewage in the New Liberty area of Decatur Township. However, Kovalick said at that time, the project was not ready and the application was withdrawn.

Kovalick said the application was resubmitted in 2018 and the funding was approved.

“It just shows that persistence prevails,” Kovalick said. She said when the original application was submitted, they did not ask for as much as they requested in the 2018 application. She said the county was fortunate to receive the full $1 million they had asked for.

Kovalick said in November of 2015, a sanitary survey was conducted of 58 sites in New Liberty. She said all the sites were “on lot” sewage systems.

She said the survey found that 24 of those systems were “wildcat” systems, which were discharging into streams and ditches. She said 11 systems were “bore hole” or “mine” disposal systems, six were malfunctioning and 19 were showing characteristics of malfunctions.

The study also showed a 70 percent failure rate of sewer systems in New Liberty and a sanitary sewage project would greatly improve the health and welfare of families living in the area.

Kovalick said an income survey of the area showed that 52.29 percent of the residents fall into the “low to moderate” income category, which makes the project eligible for CDBG grant funding.

Kovalick said the total estimated project is $2,165,000. The county has reserved $197,965 from their 2016 CDBG grant and the township will need to provide less than half of the estimated cost of the project.

“My advice for anyone applying for these grants is to be persistent,” Kovalick said. “Even if you’re rejected, don’t give up.”

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