New Castle News

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March 17, 2014

City makes plans for rain barrel program

NEW CASTLE — The city of New Castle plans to begin an urban rain barrel program.

City council adopted a resolution this week to enter into an agreement with the Lawrence County Conservation District, which is applying for a $10,000 grant to implement the program. The conservation district is seeking the grant from Pennsylvania American Water Co.

The agreement is contingent upon the grant being approved. There is no cost to the city, according to Matt Staniszewski, community and economic development director.

The program would be similar to one that was implemented in Ellwood City by the conservation district.

Staniszewski said plans are to purchase 50 50-gallon rain barrels for homeowners in flood prone areas of the city.

He called it “a green approach” to stormwater management. The barrels can help reduce the overall impact in a neighborhood, especially when a large number of barrels are installed in close proximity.

The city and the conservation district have identified certain areas that have experienced significant water runoff and heavy flooding, he said.

Staniszewski said the city may be able to save money in the long run in maintenance costs to streets that are damaged by runoff. Homeowners who participate also can see some savings by using the water to water plants or wash their vehicles, he added.

The conservation district requires a $30 deposit. After homeowners sign up and receive a barrel, they will have 30 days to install it. If the barrels are installed correctly upon inspection by the conservation district, half the deposit will be refunded.

Homeowners also may qualify for a reimbursement of up to $40 for the necessary installation equipment.

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