TREVORTON - Zerbe Township supervisors took action that will put them one step closer to having a new wastewater treatment plant in the area.

At Monday night's meeting, the board discussed the new plant and the ways to pay for it. In April, the township was awarded $4 million in PennVEST funding, in the form of a $1.1 million grant and a $2.9 million low cost loan, to build the new plant to replace the current 48-year-old structure - a change mandated by the state and the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

To help the project along, supervisors passed first and unanimously, to hire the firm of Rhoads and Sinon, of Harrisburg, to act as a bond counsel to help pay for the loan, and second, to establish a line of credit of $1 million with FNB Bank, Shamokin.

Solicitor Roger Wiest said the line of credit will help keep the project on track. Most contractors, he explained, will not start the next phase until they are paid for the one completed, and PennVEST sometimes takes its time with reimbursement.

"This way, we pay the contractor and when the reimbursement comes in, we pay off the note from the bank," Wiest said.

The board also heard from engineer William F. Hill, who presented the supervisors with a contract to help with the design and construction of the new plant. Bids are scheduled to be received July 15 with construction set to start in December.

The vote to establish the line of credit was 2-0 with supervisors Gene Geise and Mike Mazer voting for it. Board chairman Michael Schwartz abstained, since he is employed by FNB Bank.

In an update on the First Street bridge project, Wiest sent out four letters to property owners along the creek bed for a deed of easement to allow construction workers onto their property. Two plots are owned by private residents, one by Northumberland County and the other by Pennsylvania Railroad.

"The two property owners are already onboard because it will alleviate flooding concerns," Wiest said. "The county will vote on the matter at a public meeting, but we don't want the railroad to drag their feet."

The project to building a new bridge on First Street and straighten out the culvert must start by September, or the township will risk losing Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for the project.

Supervisors commended everyone for their hard work on the new playground at the Zerbe Township recreation area, including those who worked in the rain Friday to help spread mulch.

Geise said following the meeting that people have been visiting the ambulance station in times of emergency. He reminded the public that the station is not staffed 24 hours a day, or if an emergency occurs, they should immediately contact 911.