Bucks County Herald

Doylestown receives loan for sewer project

DANA M. ECKMAN

At its meeting on Jan. 31, the PennVest board approved the Doylestown Township supervisors’ application for a low-interest loan to pay for the costs associated with the construction and installation of the Pebble Ridge/Woodridge Sewer Project approved by the board of supervisors last summer.

The receipt of funds from PennVest is subject to a formal settlement, which the township anticipates will occur within the next four to six months. As indicated during meetings this past summer, the low-interest loan interest rates and loan term offered by PennVest will be passed along and will be available to residents as part of a loan program offered through the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) to pay for each resident’s costs of the public portion of the project.

In addition, BCWSA’s engineer, Gilmore & Associates, will be putting out bids for construction of the pump station, as well as clearing for the project. Permits for the project from PennDOT, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Bucks County Conservation District are being finalized.

It was decided that public sewer would be coming to more than 250 homeowners near Pebble Ridge and Woodridge roads last August after supervisors unanimously approved the project.

The vote came after over an hour of public comment from residents opposing and some supporting the project that would require them to repay the loan for the estimated $8.6 million project.

The homes in the area are serviced by individual septic systems that the township says show signs of failing and polluting stormwater runoff, leaving no other option but to extend the public sewer line.

“There’s an area of the township that needs sewers because your systems are failing,” supervisor Chair Barbara Lyons said then. “We have no other choice.”

The township applied for the low-interest loan through the state’s PennVest program to fund the initial cost of the construction, but it will be 252 homeowners who pay the loan back.

Supervisors have said the township will not shift the cost of the project onto all of the township’s taxpayers when the sewer will only directly impact a small portion of the community.

The project is set to get under way this summer.

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