The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) has approved $24.7 million in low interest loans and $1.7 million in grants for 13 drinking water, wastewater and stormwater projects to serve communities in nine counties.
Provided under Gov. Tom Ridge's "Growing Greener" initiative, the grants were targeted at three prohibitively expensive projects to bring them within the financial reach of their customers.
The PENNVEST Board of Directors authorized the administrative staff to enter into a joint funding arrangement with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Progress Fund. Under this arrangement, the Conservancy and the Fund would use loan funds provided by PENNVEST to capitalize a program to protect the water quality of streams in forested areas. This would be accomplished by the encouragement of forestland-management practices that control the runoff of soil and contaminants into streams while still allowing the responsible harvesting of the hardwood products that contribute to the economic well-being of these areas.
The state funding ranges from $5,480 to help design a water system to serve a planned U.S. Army Heritage Center museum in Middlesex Township, Cumberland County; to $6,435,000 to provide drinking water to residents of Jackson Township, Butler County, who currently are dependent on inadequate supply wells.
The funding for these projects brings PENNVEST's total funding for community water and sewer projects to more than $2.4 billion since the program's inception.