New Developments With Penn Lake Dam Project
Updated December 19, 2020
As We Say Good-bye (or Good Riddance?) to 2020 …
We have heard nothing from the Department of Environmental Protection about the consent agreement. We expect to receive it very soon and will keep you posted.
RFP Almost Ready
Members of the Dam Advisory Group are preparing a draft RFP for the investigation phase of the pre-construction engineering services. It should be completed by the end of December. Members of the Dam Advisory Group have already met, either face to face or via conference call, with three engineering firms that may bid on the RFP. Firms which intend to bid will be invited to visit the lake to inspect the dam and spillway before submitting their bids. The Dam Advisory Group will identify the factors on which the contracting decision will be based to assure that the Borough secures the engineering firm that provides the best value, not just the lowest cost.
Two Grant Applications Submitted … More to Come in 2021
In November, the Borough submitted two grant applications to PEMA. Many people in the Borough — some members of the Dam Advisory Group but others as well — put in hours of work on these applications. The first application was for the BRIC (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities) grant. It was submitted as a two-phase project with a total request of $9,877,000. The second application was for a FMA (Flood Mitigation Assistance) grant for a project plan development request of $301,000.
PEMA review of the applications began on December 15. Applications that make it through PEMA review will be submitted to FEMA by January 31, 2021. FEMA decisions probably won’t be announced until late spring or early summer 2021.
The Dam Advisory Group will begin looking at possible state grants in January. The ACT 13 grant and the H2O grant assist with flood mitigation projects, but whether those will be viable options for our project will depend on the availability of funding. At a news conference on December 2 Gov. Wolf addressed the need for more plans to prevent flooding caused by climate change. Hopefully, that will translate into more funding for mitigation projects.
Another possible funding source may be a “Natural Resource and Conservation Service” loan which will be explored in 2021.
Finding Financing Options
At this month’s Borough Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted, on advice of counsel, to secure the assistance of a broker to facilitate the borrowing that will be required for the dam project. The current thinking is that the best option for the Borough would be a line of credit similar to a construction loan. It is still early in the process and we will provide updates as they occur.
The Dam Advisory Group is committed to keeping the community informed of developments with the dam project as they occur.
Questions about the dam project?
Email your questions to the Borough secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be forwarded to the Dam Advisory Group.
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