Pipes and heavy construction equipment were delivered Monday to the site in anticipation of sewer construction by Doli Construction, of Bucks County. Doli expects to finish the project by June.
The cost of the infrastructure improvements are fully funded by a state grant from the Department of Commercial and Economic Development.
The new sewage system will link the proposed building phases of French Creek Manor to the soon to be constructed Bridge Street Pumping Station, which will be located behind the former Mansion House restaurant on Bridge Street.
The current system, which handles 7 million gallons of effluent per day, is "undersized" according to Borough Manager Don Edwards. The new system will be able to process 13 million gallons per day.
The French Creek Center site will use pipes ranging in size from 30 inches in diameter to a minimum diameter of eight inches.
"Establishing the infrastructure now is laying the ground work for future development, which is very important," said Edwards. "When PPG (Phoenix Property Group) builds their buildings, they'll have sewers to connect into."
A development of 152 townhomes is slated to be sold to and then developed by S & S Developers. Marketing Specialist Joseph Scott McArdle said that the land transfer between PPG and S & S might occur as soon as next month.
"It's all coming together," said McArdle. "We should be starting new townhomes as soon as the weather turns."
PPG plans to build 1.5 square feet of office space, a train station to serve the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro train line, and retail and apartment space on the 123-acre former brownfield site. Construction for 70 senior housing units proposed by Pennrose Properties, Inc. broke ground this fall.
For three years PPG and the borough worked together as part of a private/public partnership to obtain a borough grant of $1.25 million, according to PPG representative John MacPhee .
In addition to the $600, 000 of onsite property sewage improvements at French Creek Center, the borough will use the grant for other sewer related expenses, possibly for an interceptor or containment center for effluent.
PPG is required to match the grant by creating 250 jobs and to invest $2.5 million into the project. The expense of construction of the PPG Gateway Building should fulfill the monetary match requirement and other projects should fulfill the job requirement, according to MacPhee.
"Stay tuned," said MacPhee. "Lots more will be happening. I'm delighted to start one more step. Now people are starting to see that next step of infrastructure activity."