By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County officials are working on a plan to bring public water service to some homes with contaminated well water.
County Planning Director James Gagliano said at Thursday's county planning commission meeting that the county is applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, which is a mix of state and federal money given to communities for improvement projects.
The money will be coupled with $600,000 promised by Pennsylvania American Water Co. to supply public water service to about 107 homes along Old Route 18 in New Beaver Township, he said.
The total cost is estimated at $1.1 million.
Background: The project was spurred by 18 homes that have contaminated wells, Gagliano said. The other homes that may receive public water services are between those 18 and the nearest public waterline, he said.
The wells were contaminated by leaking gasoline tanks from a closed gas station in that area, he said.
The contaminated wells were discovered about two years ago and people living in those homes are being supplied by the gasoline station owner's insurer with bottled water for cooking and drinking, said Helen Jackson, president of the New Beaver Borough Council.
The insurance company has agreed to pay tap-in fees for those 18 homes if the waterlines are extended to that area, she said.
Details: Gagliano said waterlines would most likely be extended from West Pittsburg, across the Beaver River and to Pa. Route 168. Anyone in that path would also be connected to the public water system, but would have to pay their own tap-in fees, he said. No costs for tap-in fees are available, he said.
Gagliano said the earliest the project could get off the ground would be in August or September. Officials are unsure how long it will take the state to process its application for the CDBG funding.
In other business, the county planning commission elected Janet Verone to serve as chairwoman, Frank Telesz as vice chairman and reappointed Earl Cunningham as secretary.