State grants Arnold $1.8 million loan for sewer reconstruction

Arnold is getting a state loan of about $1.8 million to make improvements to its sewer system, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office announced Wednesday.

The 20 year loan has an interest rate of 1% for the first five years increasing to 1.743% for the remaining 15 years.

The city’s combined sewer system will be rebuilt by separating two partial sewer lines and expanding the combined sewer piping, according to the announcement from Wolf’s office.

The funding was included in the $119 million awarded for a total of 18 water, wastewater and other projects in 15 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, commonly known as PennVest.

Mayor Joseph Bia said the city couldn’t afford the work without the loan and thanked State Rep. Frank Dermody and Sen. Jim Brewster for their help securing it.

“We don’t want to go into more debt. We are forced into it by the (State Department of Environmental Protection),” Bia said. “This project was mandatory. It’s not something we do voluntarily.

The loan “is absolutely our best option,” he said. “It’s the only way to take on this new debt in the best way for taxpayers.

Bia could not say when work would begin.

Arnold was the only recipient from Westmoreland County.

“Every day we see more and more evidence of the impact that neglected infrastructure and environmental irresponsibility have on our communities,” Wolf said in a statement. “Major investments like those made by PennVest today and programs like Restore Pennsylvania continue to put the Commonwealth on the right path to clean water and healthy living environments.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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