Pittman, Struzzi Announce $14 Million in Funding for Area Water System Improvements

INDIANA – Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-62) today, announced the approval of over $14 million in state funding to allow the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority to complete numerous upgrades to its Heilwood, Cherry Tree and Crooked Creek drinking water systems.

“This substantial funding will go a long way in helping to improve local water systems, by providing new water service and emergency interconnections with neighboring systems,” Pittman said. “Access to clean drinking water is fundamental for healthy, thriving communities. I’m pleased to have worked alongside local and state leaders to ensure the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority will be able to make needed advancements.”

“I am very happy the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority has been awarded this funding through PENNVEST,” said Struzzi. “These funds will not only improve and provide critical drinking water services needed in these areas, but will also help keep any rate increases to a minimum for customers. As a PENNVEST board member, I truly appreciate the importance of this project and I am glad we approved these funds today along with many other important water and wastewater infrastructure enhancements for Pennsylvania.”

The funding includes an $8.65 million grant that does not have to be repaid, as well as a $5.36 million low-interest loan. The grant and low-interest loan will be used to support six projects.

In the first project, approximately 25,900 feet of new water line will be installed along Route 403 in Buffington and Pine townships. The new water line will provide service to numerous homes experiencing contamination from on-lot wells. Additionally, an above-ground metering station will be constructed to facilitate an emergency interconnection with the adjacent Highridge Water Authority, formerly Lower Indiana County Municipal Authority.

The second project also involves the Heilwood system, and consists of a new water line being extended from the Pine Township, Indiana County line along Route 422 to Iverson Road in Blacklick Township, Cambria County. This area of Blacklick Township is currently served by on-lot wells. Providing new public drinking water service will result in improved water quality and quantity.

The third project will include an extension of the Heilwood system along School Road in Cherryhill Township. Approximately 11,000 feet of new water line will be installed, providing new public water service to numerous residents with contaminated on-lot wells.

A fourth project will encompass a new water line extension of approximately 38,000 feet between the unincorporated villages of Penns Manor and Uniontown in the townships of Green and Cherryhill. The extension will interconnect with the existing Cherry Tree water system at a new above-ground metering station.

Within the Crooked Creek water system, a fifth project will include construction of a prefabricated, above-grade booster station at a location formerly used for an emergency interconnection with the Pennsylvania-American Water Company. New telemetry systems and connection for a mobile emergency generator will be installed.

The final project includes replacements of two-inch and six-inch pressure-reducing valves within part of the Crooked Creek water system serving Ernest Borough. New valves will ensure continued service to customers. Across all projects, approximately 45 fire hydrants and 177 meter pits for new customer taps will be installed.

The funding was approved on April 24, 2024, by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), an independent state agency providing financial assistance to fund construction of drinking water, sewer and stormwater projects. Upon project completion, several communities will benefit from increased availability of potable water, extensive water conservation, and improved aesthetic water quality.

Kate Eckhart Flessner (Sen. Pittman) 
Tricia Lehman (Rep. Struzzi)

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