An LCA project to upgrade three critical water pumps welcomed a $2 million loan from the state this week. The low-cost financing was included in a much larger investment package aimed at infrastructure improvements to aging water systems across Pennsylvania. Projects spanning 11 counties will split $178 million in funding through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST.
The plan to upgrade two 2,300-volt high-lift variable frequency drives (VFDs) and add a third is just one part of a critical and comprehensive infrastructure improvement project for city systems. A number of costly upgrades are required for Allentown’s more than 600 miles of aging water and sewer lines. Over the next 45 years, LCA expects to spend close to $1 billion on infrastructure improvements in the city.
High lift pumps at the water filtration plant push water through the system to homes and businesses based on demand. The VFDs (at left) are control units used to operate the pumps and will improve code compliance, long-term capacity and reliability, energy efficiency and overall system enhancement.
“We are pleased to receive support from PENNVEST for this important project at our water filtration plant that serves more than 200,000 people in our region,” said Liesel Gross, CEO. “Low-cost financing for critical infrastructure projects like this helps to reduce the impact on customer rates, which is very important to us.”
Pennsylvania is helping to finance water infrastructure improvement projects through a combination of state funds approved by voters, Growing Greener, Marcellus Legacy funds, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency, and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards.
Projects funds are distributed after expenses for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PENNVEST. LCA will pay back the loan over a period of 20 years at interest rates as low as 1 to 2 percent. In the months ahead, final details of the loan agreement will be developed for consideration and approval by the LCA Board of Directors.
To find out more about LCA’s planned infrastructure improvements, visit our City of Allentown Lease Update – 2020 web page, which highlights some larger planned projects and their impact on the region’s water systems.