Rep. Cartwright Announces a $4.5 Million Rural Development Grant to the Borough of Jim Thorpe
Pottsville, PA – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Borough of Jim Thorpe a $4,549,000 Rural Development grant. The USDA also awarded a $6,129,000.00 Rural Development loan to be paid back at 3% over 38 years.
The $10,678,000 in funding will allow the borough to upgrade the current sewage treatment plant; a small portion of the funds will be used to replace select sewage collection lines in the Borough.
“I am happy to announce that the USDA office of Rural Development has approved a grant of $4,549,000 and a loan of $6,129,000 for the Borough of Jim Thorpe to allow for the upgrade of the sewer treatment plant and collection lines,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This project has many benefits for the borough, its residents, and the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds us. Without assistance from the USDA, the large cost of the project would have meant that user rates for the citizens of Jim Thorpe would have become unaffordable.”
Both the grant funds and the loan awarded by the USDA will enable the borough to offset the cost of the project, meaning that user rates will be kept at a level that is reasonable.
Jim Thorpe’s current system, constructed in 1965 and expanded in 1977, continues to deteriorate and replacement parts have become both difficult to find and costly to replace. Recognizing the facility’s age, the borough requested Entech Engineering, Inc. evaluate its Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The focus of the review was to determine both the long and short term capital improvement needs for the borough’s facility. As a result of Entech’s report the borough contacted the United States Department of Agriculture to review the proposed improvement project. The plant qualified for its funding program and a formal application package was prepared and submitted.
According to Entech Engineering, the project will employ 40 to 50 workers during the construction phase. These workers will work across different trades during the project.
Not only does this project positively impact the citizens of the Borough of Jim Thorpe and provide jobs, the project will also mean a more environmentally sound system. It is anticipated that both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware River Basin Commission will require more stringent discharge criteria in the near future.
Many of the components of the treatment facility are aged and several will be challenged to meet these future permit requirements. In order to meet the regulations and criteria, the existing wastewater treatment plant’s processes will be upgraded.
The project also includes the upgrading of the electrical service, the resizing of the Pump Station, screening will be added to the treatment process, the disinfection system will be upgraded as well as improvements on the physical structures of the buildings and a new roof on the Control building.
As identified within the evaluation by Entech, key collection system improvements also need to be made. During this project, the sanitary sew lines and manholes along Switchback Road and South Street will be either replaced or relined to resolve inflow and infiltration problems.