Shuster brings $400,000 for funding to Northern Blair pump station project; could impact proposed methadone clinic

Congressman Bill Shuster was in Snyder Township on Tuesday morning to present a check in the amount of $400,000 to officials from the Northern Blair Sewer Authority for partial funding of a new pumping station.
“I’ve been working with local officials for months now and we are fortunate the Omnibus bill passed in January, and we were able to secure the $400,000 for the Northern Blair Sewer Authority,” said Shuster. “This is your money (taxpayer’s dollars) and we were able to bring it home to you.”
“I wrote the congressman about six months ago and Senator Jubelirer asking if they could find this funding for us to put the pumping station in Pinecroft,” said Ray Amato, authority board member.
“This would relieve all the Bellemeade sewage to go down to Tyrone,” said Amato. “This would open up Logan Township and Pinecroft for growth with restaurants, hotels or other businesses.
“Some people think this is only going to help Pinecroft but that’s not true,” said Amato. “This would also open up Riggles Gap and Sugar Run Hollow (in Antis Township) for storage if we need it.”
“We just found out about getting the money late last week as this is new funding (being made available for the project),” said Amato.
He explained the new pumping station became necessary when the old sewage treatment facility became filled to capacity.
“We (the sewer authority) just can’t get anymore out of it,” said Amato.
“This is the catalyst which is necessary for the sewer authority to go forward into the future to promote the growth of the I-99 corridor,” said Leo Matuszewski, the secretary and treasurer of the authority. “Without it (the funding) the project would never have happened.
“Also, for Antis Township, as a sewer authority we are going to tie in this pumping station with the extension of our sewer collection system into the Sugar Run/Riggles Gap area,” said Matuszewski.
“This would also be a benefit for the proposed methadone clinic in Antis Township,” said Matuszewski. “Once this goes on line it takes out the flow to the Pinecroft facility and opens things up in Antis Township for all types of businesses including the methadone clinic. Taps and public sewers would become available.”
Matuszewski explained with the new pumping station on line, the DEP would lift a current ban on multiple taps at Pinecroft.
“This is the thing, the catalyst which is absolutely critical for all of these things to happen,” Matuszewski told The Daily Herald.
The authority’s engineering consultant, Jason Moore of the EADS group, explained where the project goes from here.
“We are presently in the process of completing an amendment to the Antis Township Act 537 study which will hopefully be presented to the Antis Township board of supervisors at their May meeting,” said Moore. “This needs to be approved by the supervisors for the project to move forward.
“There also needs to be a public comment period and DEP approval,” said Moore. “Pending DEP approval, they would like to begin construction in the late fall or early spring next year.
“This (the $400,000 is only a portion of what’s needed,” said Moore. “Hopefully, through low-interest loans or other sources of funding will be available to help complete this project.”
Matuszewski indicated he felt the station would be on-line by fall 2005 at the latest but it could happen as early as next spring.
The overall cost of the project was estimated at $850,000 according information stated by Congressman Shuster during his remarks.