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Somerset Borough planning comprehensive water system project

September 25, 2018

Somerset Borough officials are planning significant projects to upgrade the town’s water system.

Council members voted at their meeting Monday to recommend the municipal authority enter an agreement with The EADS Group for engineering and design of up to $20 million in capital improvements to the water system.

“We’re looking at water line improvements, water treatment plant and structured improvements,” borough Manager Michele Enos said. “It’s all part of a long-range plan.”

Enos said officials will try to narrow down the areas to focus on for improvements. The borough is currently conducting a leak detection program to identify lines that need to be replaced.

“We know we have water loss in our system,” she said.

Officials have fixed over two dozen leaks since the study began.

“We’ve been doing locating, digging them up and repairing (lines),” Enos said. “But there’s a lot of older lines in our system in need of replacement.”

Borough officials plan to talk to authority members about Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority funding, including loans and grants. Enos said officials should be starting pretty soon with the water projects.

“We’re planning on discussing the projects, Pennvest and designing for $20 million with the municipal authority at their next meeting on Oct. 25,” she said.

No authority members were at Monday’s meeting.

In other business, officials said they recently purchased 15 body cameras for police officers. Police Chief Randy Cox said at the meeting that the borough has enough cameras for every officer on patrol, and officials are putting a policy together on when cameras can be used.

Cameras have a small monitor on the back for officers to review footage.

“They can’t alter it, they can’t change it, they can’t erase it, but they can review it,” Cox said.

Officials said funding for the new cameras came from the Somerset Fraternal Order of Eagles and an anonymous donation.

“The nice part of both those things is that there’s basically no cost to borough residents,” Mayor Scott Walker said.

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