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United Way of Lancaster County


Commissioners OK $150,000 in ARPA funding for city stormwater project (update)

Water-themed art and signage adorn the pavilion at Culliton Park on Water Street in Lancaster. (Source: OUL file photo)

Update, Dec. 28: On Wednesday, without discussion, the commissioners unanimously approved $150,000 for Lancaster’s Water Street corridor stormwater separation project.

Previously reported:

At their Tuesday work session, the Lancaster County commissioners returned to the question of funding Lancaster city’s Water Street corridor stormwater separation project.

The project is part of the city’s larger efforts, mandated by a federal consent decree, to divert stormwater in order to stop polluting the Conestoga River.

Unlike more recently developed areas, Lancaster city has a combined sewer system in which stormwater and sewage flow together. When the capacity of the treatment plant is exceeded, the overflow ends up local waterways, ultimately contributing to the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.

In the work session, Commissioner John Trescot reiterated his opinion that the county should fund the project at a level above the $150,000 cap suggested last week by Commissioner Ray D’Agostino.

“It’s not just about the city of Lancaster,” Trescot said. “It’s about more parts of the county.”

The fix, he said, would have a countywide impact and would be a step toward confronting the pollution that Lancaster County generates.

“We are the most polluting county in the state of Pennsylvania,” Trescot said. “Not by a little, but by a lot.”

D’Agostino said he is sticking by his earlier maximum funding cap, calling the relevant sewer overflows “infinitesimal” in terms of the overall issue.

“This is much more of a stormwater project (than a sewer project,” he said, noting that intermunicipal efforts could help.

Commissioner Josh Parsons said he is ready to move ahead and fund the project at D’Agostino’s proposed cap amount.