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Commissioners talk water system at first public meet

Tuberculation will result in pipe replacements

MIFFLINTOWN – The conference room of the Bousum Building was full of activity as lifted pandemic restrictions allowed individuals to speak in person during the public comment period of the Juniata County Commissioners meeting Tuesday. One such person was Cory Fronk, manager of the McAlisterville Area Joint Authority, who started by expressing gratitude to the commissioners for their allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds to the authority’s Spring Rehabilitation and Well Source Development projects.

Frock explained that because of tuberculation some sections of the pipe’s diameter has been reduced from 3 inches down to 1 making it more difficult to pump water through. The project will see the replacement of the old cast iron piping with PVC pipe which is not subject to tuberculation. The replacement piping will also be 4 inches in diameter making it easier to pump the water from the spring and convey it down to the town. Frock stressed the importance of the project saying “That source is our best source as far as quality. That’s why we didn’t want to give it up.” Work to replace the deteriorating pipes leading from the 90-year-old water source is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks.

The other plan the authority is trying to establish is the Well Source Development project for a new storage tank. According to Frock, McAlisterville has one 65,000 gallon storage tank. Of those 65,000 gallons only half can be used before the authority begins to violate its water quality permit. “Let’s just say because of a disastrous reason we can’t produce water. McAlisterville uses about 50,000 gallons a day. If you do the math in a half a day we’re violating our permits and I’d have to put a boil advisory on.” Frock said. The plan is to add a second storage tank on the opposite side of town from the existing tank. This would not only fulfill the need for additional storage but also make it possible to isolate problems with a water main and still provide water to customers by avoiding any deadend situations. CDBG funds were already allocated for the Well Source Development project, but had to be moved to the Spring Project to accommodate the additional cost for that project. Frock asked the Commissioners to consider the project for CDBG funding it still qualifies for.

Gladys Boyer of the Port Royal Municipal Authority also spoke during the public comment period about the problems with the town’s reservoirs. According to Boyer, the municipal authority is working on getting the holding tank placed on the mountain outside of Port Royal connected for use. But, the main reservoir in town is leaking and is in need of repair.

SEDA-COG program analyst Heather Kelly-Weisen, who was attending the meeting remotely, said that it may be possible both the MCalisterville and Port Royal projects could receive funds through the CDBG Entitlement Program. However how much funding is allocated through the program does depend on how many project summaries are received and are viable. According to Kelly-Weisen more detailed information will be available after the project summary deadline of June 28th.

Also during the meeting an update was given on the Juniata County Library by director Vince Giordano. According to Giordano, operations at the library are back to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. The library is open to the public to browse and all of the public computers are available for use. The library’s children’s programming has continued as well. Patrons can wear a mask while using the library but it is not required to do so.

The following actions were also taken by the Commissioners:

¯Approved the tax exonerations for Fermanagh, Milford and Monroe Townships and Mifflintown and Thompsontown Boroughs as per the material provided.

¯Ratified the following Juniata County Hazardous Materials check. o #1385 $40.76 Wex Bank Fuel.

¯Ratified the following CDBG-IDIS checks as submitted by the Juniata County Planning and Community Development Department: #1266 $51,485.70 Nittany Engineering Project Costs; #1267 $487.55 Nittany Engineering Project Costs; #1268 $317.00 Advance Publications Project Costs; #1269 $210.00 cb3 Solutions, LLC. Project Costs

¯Reviewed the May 2021 departmental reports “Sheriff’s Monthly Report” as submitted by the Sheriff’s Office; “Summary of Collections Report – Fines and Costs” as submitted by Jacqueline T. Leister, Magisterial District Judge; “Juniata County Probation’s Monthly Activities Report” as submitted by Michelle A. Beaver, Chief Probation Officer.

¯Approved payment of checks #61584 – #61643 in the amount of $245,328.55.

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