EBENSBURG - Ebensburg Borough and Cambria Township have agreed to replace a pipe near Candlelight Drive to alleviate flooding issues in exchange for county liquid fuels money.
Borough Manager Dan Penatzer compared the flooding to a stoppered bathtub; when the rain stops, the plug is pulled, and flood waters quickly recede from flooded areas.
The problem, however, is that the area floods every time it rains - not just during heavy storms.
Engineering studies indicate that a 36-inch pipe under Candlelight Drive needs to be replaced, he said. There is a 54-inch pipe under Center Street and another 54-inch pipe near a Uni-Mart store that crosses under Route 22.
Penatzer told council Monday the borough had reached a trade agreement with the county, which couldn't afford the work, while both the borough and township already have equipment and available manpower.
"The county has the ability to accomplish some paving projects. The borough has the ability to do construction and add a retaining wall," President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder said.
"We could not afford to go in and just [do the construction], especially with the size of the pipes and the
type of drainage that they need."
Penatzer said the borough needs construction easements from two private property owners who might be reluctant to let the project move forward.
One of them, Jason Jacoby, told council "adding a 2-foot bigger pipe [running] 25 yards isn't going to work."
He said the borough needs to address the source of the problem, which he believes is newer buildings stopping water from being absorbed, creating more flooding and debris runoff.
Penatzer said talks with the property owners is set for today. If a resolution isn't met, the borough will have to defer back to the county so it can ask the courts to take legal action to fix the pipe.
Lengenfelder said he's hopeful the project will move forward and fix a longstanding problem that affects a busy intersection of state-, county- and municipality-owned roads.
Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.