Lancaster sewer projects move ahead

Sewer upgrades continue to be a big priority for the city of Lancaster, with several projects moving forward.
On June 12, Lancaster City Council unanimously approved a $395,202 contract with Fla.-based VacVision Environmental, pending state approval, to reline sewer mains for the first phase of the Midway Neighborhood Revitalization Project.
The money comes from a half-million dollar Community Development Block Grant the county was awarded on the city’s behalf in November 2014. The grant will help replace aging sewer lines and demolish dilapidated buildings in the Midway neighborhood off South York Street in the vicinity of the old Springs Mills Lancaster Plant property.
“The city is the recipient, so that means we are responsible for the engineering and the contractor, said City Administrator Flip Hutfles.
The total cost of the project is about $630,000, with $390,500 coming from the CDBG grant. It includes lining sewer mains, repairing cleanouts and building new sidewalks. Hutfles said VacVison’s bid was “slightly higher than anticipated,” but still within the budgeted amount.
The city’s portion of the total cost includes $67,800 for engineering, $18,525 for camera work to film sewer lines and $10,000 for a preliminary engineering report. Hutfles said the city has already paid about $87,000 toward the Midway Revitalization project, which has a total cost of $101,525.
Councilwoman Jackie Harris said city officials must keep in mind that unforeseen issues could crop up once the work begins and that the municipality must be braced for it.
The council also unanimously approved engineering contracts totaling $627,800 for sewer upgrades in Poovey Farm and Erwin Farm with WK Dickson.
Upgrades to sewer lines in both neighborhoods, as well as West Arch Street, were mandated through the city’s consent order with the EPA.
In August 2013, the municipality was placed under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency consent order regarding its wastewater collection system.
Many of the issues in the EPA consent order with the city center on aging clay terra cotta sewer basins that carry wastewater to the city’s treatment plant.
“The city is not sitting back on its laurels,” said Mayor John Howard. “We’re out working on this stuff just about every day.”

By Greg Summers, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News