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County expands Marion Township sewage project

County commissioners on Wednesday approved an expansion of the Marion Township sewage project to Oakwood Lane, where 10 homes are located.

The expansion adds costs and time to the project, which was originally budgeted at $4.2 million to construct a new treatment plant and provide service to about 111 homes and businesses in the Boyers area by early this year.

Change orders approved by the commissioners include $155,254 for materials including grinder pumps, and up to $150,000 to install lateral lines for the Oakwood Lane homes.

The change orders included an extension to May 31 to allow more time to expand to Oakwood Lane, complete the treatment plant and install the plant’s electrical service.

The county’s contract with project engineer EADS Group was extended to the end of the year due to the installation of the new lateral lines.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in January. In December, the commissioners approved a no-cost, six-month extension of EADS’ contract from Jan. 17 to July 17. County official attributed the delay to a lengthier than expected process of hauling sludge from the old plant’s lagoon by truck and delays in material delivery.

Commissioners said they were pleased with the expansion.

Expanding the project now is more cost effective than it would be after the project is completed, said Wendy Leslie, coordinator of the county’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Marion Township Supervisor Jason McBride, contacted after the commissioner’s meeting, said residents of Oakwood Lane asked the township supervisors to consider expanding sewage service to their road and the county approved the expansion.

“They helped with funding and grants, and extended it to another portion of Marion Township — Oakwood Lane,” McBride said. “It is needed, but it wasn’t in the original service area identified by the DEP. The county has been unbelievable and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

He said project engineers have told him the new plant will have capacity for future expansion of the service area, which also can be expanded.

“The plant itself has room for expansion as need arises. It would be very easy to expand the sewage coverage area,” McBride said.

In a more playful construction project, the commissioners agreed to have the county administer a $98,300 grant awarded to Connoquenessing by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for replacement and redevelopment of the borough park playground, which will have a nature theme. The borough is providing a $98,300 match for the $196,600 project.

The commissioners approved a similar agreement with Harmony to replace and redevelop the municipal building and old schoolhouse playground. The county will administer a $55,600 grant the borough received from DCNR. The borough is providing $25,600 for the project that will cost $81,200.

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