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Proposal to improve Harrisburg's water and sewage infastructure

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A proposal to improve Harrisburg’s aging water and sewer infrastructure has been announced... But it’s going to cost city residents money

Capital region water announced plans to spend $315 million dollars over the next 20 years to upgrade the system

Most of the city’s water and sewer system is more than 80 years old, so it’s time for an upgrade, but the upgrade is costly.

“When you talk to constituent’s infrastructure is one of the biggest complaints they have,” says David Madsen, City Councilman

Capital Region Water says nearly 40% of their sewer and storm-water infrastructure needs to be repaired or replaced

Monday they laid out a $315 million dollar plan to do just that.

“You can see the infrastructure aging and its needed attention for some time,” says Madsen.

One of the problems the aging infrastructure has led to sinkholes, which have ravaged parts of the city for years.

Including market street where Michael Pavone is trying to run a successful business and believes a water-infrastructure issue led to the sinkhole outside his office

“It was kind of nerve wracking because it was in the road and that was the key, creek runs under our parking lot so that was an old bridge being affected and hey its old infrastructure,” says Michael Pavone, CEO, Pavone Marketing Group

“It was fixed which is fine but i don’t know how long its fixed or if there’s gonna be other issues,”

The plan is also set to address issues like untreated water flowing into the Susquehanna River and

But the plan comes with a cost, it’ll cumulatively raise water and sewer rates 150%

“We always have to look at how these plans affect our most vulnerable citizens,” says Madsen.

Harrisburg’s median income is $34,000 and based on that median families can expect to spend 1% of their income on water bills in 2018 and 2% by 2027

But the good news and the bad news, the increases, and the plan, are stretched over a course of 20 years.

“Infrastructure is very expensive to do and built and do properly and safely so if we don’t have the tax base there then some of these projects will take longer to get done.”

CRW is holding three public meetings on the proposal to get the communities input on the plan.