The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

June 7, 2014

Help for homeowners: Banks offering low-interest loans to pay for sewer construction

JOHNSTOWN — Qualifying property owners can now acquire low-interest loans to help pay for construction work related to the large-scale sewer project being done in the Johnstown region.

At least five lending institutions – First National Bank, 1st Summit Bank, Somerset Trust Co., AmeriServ Financial and Northwest Savings Bank – are offering special rates, according to an announcement made by Johnstown Mayor Frank Janakovic.

“The banks all stepped forward to help our citizens with these low-interest loans,” Janakovic said.

Roberta Lohr, senior vice president of marketing at Somerset Trust, added, “We realize the citizens, especially in this area, need to deal with doing infrastructure and we all need to help the community grow. If our bank can help people make it less painful for them, that’s what we want to do.”

Rates will vary from bank to bank, depending on credit ratings, amount of money needed, length of term, etc. It appears rates below 2 percent might be available to some applicants.

Janakovic said the city does not specifically endorse any of the plans, but encourages residents to explore their options.

“We feel it’s a good thing to give a special rate,” said Jeffry D. Cramer, an executive vice president at 1st Summit.

Johnstown Redevelopment Authority is attempting to eliminate all sanitary sewer overflows from its system that feeds into the Dornick Point plant, as required by the state Department of Environmental Protection. All 20 municipalities in the system are developing their own plans for handling the issue.

The city entered into its own consent agreement with the DEP to eliminate its sanitary sewer overflows by Dec. 31, 2022, or face the possibility of huge fines. After considering several options, including building holding tanks or expanding the Dornick facility, Johnstown opted for a two-pronged approach: install new mainlines and  require all property owners to have systems in place that can pass an air pressure test.

DEP’s consent order only required lines to pass less-forceful and less-accurate smoke and/or dye tests, which many properties could do.

However, most older systems, especially those with terra cotta pipes, will not pass a pressure test without having some construction work done. The city’s engineering firm, The EADS Group, says the average cost is between $2,500 and $3,000, based on a survey of local contractors. Estimates in excess of $10,000 have been reported. The prices vary depending on the amount of excavation, line installation and remodeling needed.

“We realize that the sewage upgrade costs may be a financial burden to property owners in Johnstown, and we want to assist by offering a convenient and affordable solution,” said Madonna Miller, a senior vice president and market manager at First National Bank.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kara Baumgardner ‘I’m helping other people’: Forest Hills freshman donates regularly to Locks of Love

    Summerhill resident Kara Baumgardner has cut her hair a total of four times in the past five years.
    Each time, she has chopped off 10 to 12 inches for donation to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for those 21 and younger who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads