Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lawmakers Announce Funding for Stevenson Dam Rehab

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) today approved an $18 million grant to fund rehabilitation of the George B. Stevenson Dam at Sinnemahoning State Park in Cameron County, announced Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway) and Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Matt Gabler (R-DuBois).

“This is an important investment in protecting the health and safety of people living along, or downstream from, the dam on First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek,” Causer said.

“I commend the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for being proactive in identifying the potential for failure of this dam and acting to correct it,” Scarnati added. “Clearly, once this project is completed, it will meet the needs of area citizens and businesses, as it is vital in terms of not only public safety, but also economic development.”

The grant money will be used to construct a grout curtain and cutoff wall along the upstream toe of the embankment to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of seepage through the rock foundation of the dam. Prior engineering studies have shown the potential for embankment material to wash away, threatening a failure of the dam that could impact towns and communities up to 140 miles downstream.

“While the investment in this project is significant, it is far more cost effective to prevent a flood than to recover from the damage it could cause families, business and communities,” Gabler said.

Funds for the dam project come from H20 PA Flood Control Program revenue bonds authorized by Act 63 of 2008.  Debt service on the bonds is paid from a portion of slots revenue that is deposited in the Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund.

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