LUCINDA - The good-faith efforts of the Knox Township Municipal Authority to secure additional funding for a proposed and state-mandated sewerage collection and treatment system has earned the authority an extension of time to accept a PennVEST grant and loan package.
PennVEST has approved a $3.1 million grant/loan package for the KTMA but the loan side of the offer still left potential monthly sewerage service bills higher than authority board members believe projected customers can afford.
The KTMA opted to seek a better grant/loan offer this year. The outcome of that application is not yet known, however, the KTMA also opted to apply for a renewed round of state H2O grants and the outcome of that application might not be known until spring.
KTMA board chair Tim Huebert said at the board's November meeting PennVEST did send him a letter saying the KTMA needed to accept or decline the standing grant/loan package by Jan. 31, 2020.
"But because we're applying for the H2O grant, all we need to do is send PennVEST a letter and request another extension (past the Jan. 31, 2020, deadline)," said Huebert. "So that is really kind of a soft deadline."
Adding to the mix of undetermined factors is Pennsylvania American Water Co.'s interest in purchasing the Farmington Township water and sewerage service systems.
If PAWC buys the Farmington Township systems, it could opt to pipe the sewage to its Shippenville treatment plant, meaning a main service line would likely pass through the Lucinda area where the state Department of Environmental Protection has mandated the KTMA build a system.
Pennsylvania-American Water has asked for a substantial amount of information from Farmington Township concerning its water and sewerage systems and that will take some time to gather and analyze.
The DEP also has softened its deadlines while the KTMA works to secure more funding or agree to a deal with PAWC for service.
In other business at its November session, KTMA board members accepted the resignation of authority legal counsel Sara Seidle Patton effective Dec. 12.
Seidle Patton was elected as Clarion County judge of common pleas in the November general election and can no longer serve as legal counsel for the KTMA, the Knox Township board of supervisors or the Farmington Township board of supervisors.
KTMA members said they will contact other attorneys including Christie Logue, Seidle Patton's law office partner, about the position. KTMA members said they hope to find an attorney with a strong background in working with PennVEST and DEP matters
The KTMA board will not meet in December. The board will next meet Jan. 28, 2020.