Loysville Village Municipal Authority- Confidential Household Income Survey

In 2017, the CLUS was contracted by Loysville Village Municipal Authority (LVMA) and Entech Engineering to administer a confidential Household Income Survey. The results of this survey were used to determine eligibility for grants and loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and other programs for sewer infrastructure upgrades in the community. Provided by LVMA, the FAQ below provide more information about the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Didn’t we just do one of these surveys?

Yes and No.  In 2015, the Loysville Village Municipal Authority (LVMA) staff conducted a HUD Low-Moderate Income survey to determine eligibility for a grant through the Perry County Commissioners.  That process was successful and over $100,000 in grant monies were made available to the LVMA to make repairs to the sewer collection system at virtually no cost to the sewer users.  This is a similar but different survey for a different funding agency.  It must be performed by a third-party non-profit entity.  LVMA and their consulting engineer Entech Engineering, Inc. cannot be directly involved.

Who is CLUS?

CLUS stands for the Center for Land Use & Sustainability.  They are part of Shippensburg University and are the third-party entity which has been selected to conduct this survey.  Shippensburg staff, faculty, and students are participating in collecting data for this survey.  For residents who don’t respond to the survey by mail or the internet, you may see them around town canvassing additional residents who have not yet participated in the survey.

Our rates went up recently, will this cause them to go up more?

The funding agency we are working through for the sewer upgrade projects is PennVEST.  PennVEST judges loan and grant eligibility based on sewer affordability criteria.  These are tied to the local municipality’s Median Household Income (MHI).  For Loysville, the default MHI under consideration is Tyrone Township which historically has been higher than the MHI of Loysville Village residents.  This income survey is a way to show the income levels in Loysville Village are lower, and therefore increases the likelihood of receiving grant funding for the project.

What happens if not enough people respond to this survey?

If we do not obtain an 85% response rate from the survey the results are invalid.  This means that we will have to use the default income data for Tyrone Township.  This will decrease our chances for low interest loans and grant funding and increases the likelihood of additional rate increases for users of the LVMA system.

Why is this happening?

LVMA is currently under a Consent Order & Agreement (CO&A) with the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP).  The CO&A mandates that projects must be completed for the sewer system to remedy ongoing issues with hydraulic overloads and other compliance issues.  LVMA, in conjunction with Tyrone Township, completed sewer planning in 2016.  This is known as Act 537 Sewage Facilities planning.  The Act 537 process is a mechanism for communities to plan for current and future sewage facilities for their communities.  After reviewing many different alternatives, an option was selected that will provide a technically feasible solution at the most cost effective price.  The projects selected include upgrades at the existing treatment plant and replacement of the interceptor, which is the main sewer line running into the plant.  Repairs to the sewer lines are also planned.

How much will all of this cost?

Current cost estimates for the projects that have been selected, designed, and submitted to PA DEP for permitting are about $5 million.  These are the projects that were selected and approved by PA DEP as part of the Act 537 process.  How much of the project must be paid for by the users, and how much may be subsidized by grants and low interest loans, will in part be a result of the outcome of this survey.

I heard the problem with the sewer is leaking pipes, why not just fix these and let the plant alone?

Repairs to leaking pipes are part of the plan and will minimize the amount of groundwater and stormwater that gets into the LVMA’s sewer system.  The fact of the matter is that the treatment plant itself was constructed in 1978 with an intended operational life of 20-years.  Despite best efforts to make small repairs and keep the plant in nearly the same configuration as the original plant, LVMA is about to enter the 40th year of this treatment plant operation.  The plant’s age has caught up with it and is at a point of significant disrepair.

What is LVMA doing to ensure that the project isn’t any more expensive than it needs to be?

The plant upgrade makes best use of the existing assets, reusing tanks, buildings, and other site assets.  In fact, every existing treatment tank at the current plant has been incorporated into the new design.  No additional property will be acquired.  All new parts of the facility fit on the current site.  LVMA is doing everything they can to keep these upgrade costs as low as possible, while recognizing the need to ensure that the new treatment plant will operate efficiently for many years at the lowest operating cost possible.  Equipment selected incorporates automation to help it run more efficiently and cost effectively.

Affiliate Scientists:

Dorlisa Minnick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Gerontology

B.A. in Social Work from Shippensburg University
M.S.W. from S.U.N.Y. – Stony Brook
Ph.D. in Social Work from The Catholic University of America

Dr. Dorlisa Minnick believes social and environmental justice is inextricably tied together in order to build sustainable communities. She has experience in designing, implementing, and disseminating results from community assessments focused on the social environments of marginalized populations. She has co-led training to increase community organizing capacity of Science Festival Alliance membership in their efforts to make science accessible in their local communities.

  • Tel: 717-477-1785
  • Location: College of Education & Human Services

Claire Jantz, Ph.D. – Director

Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

Project Lead: Delaware River Basin

B.A. in College Scholars from University of Tennessee
M.A. in Geography from University of Maryland
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Maryland

Dr. Claire Jantz is the Director of the CLUS. She has extensive expertise in land use and land cover change analysis and modeling, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Jantz has particular expertise within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Delaware River Basin, and the Delmarva Peninsula. She has participated in several collaborative research efforts funded by NASA, Maryland SeaGrant, NPS, and the William Penn Foundation.

Antonia Price

Project Manager, Department of Geography-Earth Science

H.B.S. in Biology from University of Utah

Antonia received an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Utah, with Undergraduate Research Scholar designation. As the coordinator for the Delaware River Basin Project- Land Use Dynamics, she leads communication efforts in the 43 county region of the DRB, in the form of websites, social media, surveys, and quarterly newsletters. Antonia has a background in community outreach and science education, and enjoys communicating science to diverse audiences.