When: Ephrata Township supervisors meeting, Sept. 7
What happened: Township Manager Steve Sawyer told supervisors the township has been awarded a $145,300 grant from the Lancaster Clean Water Fund.
Why it matters: The grant money will be used toward the Autumn Hills Cocalico Creek restoration project, serving as the township’s pollution reduction project for its municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) program required by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Recreational areas will also be included in this project. The Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail, will add a half-mile for walking. A fishing pier and parking lot will be built in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. A canoe/kayak launch area will also be constructed.
Cost: The estimated cost for this project is approximately $400,000, with $341,280 covered by grants. The township received a $195,980 Community Conservation Partnership Program grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last year. Sawyer said after the meeting the township will fund an estimated balance of $58,720. “The grants that we received will fund 85% of the project and benefit the township and its residents greatly by reducing the tax dollars spent on this project,” Sawyer said.
Scope of project: The Autumn Hills project primarily addresses pollutant reductions for the township’s MS4 permit, Sawyer said after the meeting. This project proposes to restore the Cocalico Creek by installing a three-zone, multi-functional riparian buffer. The measures include stream bank stabilization, floodplain and wetland restoration, plus educational signage.
Timeline: Sawyer told supervisors he hopes the project will be completed next year. Ephrata Township received approval of its stream encroachment permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers. Now, DEP is reviewing a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit needed for the project. After permits are approved, the township will seek bids, likely in winter.
What’s next: Supervisors will meet at 7 a.m. Sept. 21 in the township building, 265 Akron Road, Ephrata. Residents can also access the meeting remotely via audio by calling 1-717-205-1885, then enter 638618289# when prompted.