Water-line project making progress in North Warren

Once Landmark Excavation workers finish laying new water mains in North Warren, they will check on existing hook-ups and individual residences and businesses.

If the water lines are either copper or HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic, there will be no need to hook up to the new system. However, if existing water lines running to the residences and businesses are iron or galvanized, they must be replaced.

Lorri Dunlap, grants administrator for Warren County, said the estimated cost for each connection is $1,500. Community Development Block Grants should be available for anyone meeting the federal Housing and Urban Development income guidelines.

Residents must submit individual applications to Dunlap, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. She will be sending letters to all households affected.

Low- and moderate-income households having a before-tax gross income that is under 80 percent of the median income in Conewango Township will be eligible for a grant.

The current levels are: one-person household, $31,850; two-person household, $36,400; three-person, $40,950 and four, $45,500. Dunlap said the qualifying numbers increase with more household members, and the amounts also tend to increase by a relatively small amount each year.

Dunlap said she would submit the grants to the state Department of Community and Economic Development sometime in September, and after four or five months of reviews, the contracts will be returned to the county, then sent back to DCED for signing, which takes about another month.

She said that the contracts would then be executed in late spring next year.

The North Warren Municipal Authority estimates that about 50 households will qualify, and at $1,500 each, the total grant funds for the project will be around $75,000, she said. Throughout Conewango Township, 31 percent of residents fall within HUD guidelines.

“It’s expected that the authority will not require connection until the grant funds are available,” she said, and the county will be in charge of gathering bids and quotes from a number of contractors so residents may choose from the list.

Dunlap explained that rental units will qualify if the tenants meet guidelines and the landlords sign an agreement to not raise rents for three years, with exceptions.

Anyone who connects with their own money in advance will not be reimbursed, she said.