Sunbury Municipal Authority
History of the Sunbury Municipal Authority:
December of 1946, the Sunbury Municipal Authority was formed by the City in accordance with the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945. The first meeting of the newly formed Authority was held in April of 1947. The original Authority board consisted of five (5) members and would later increase to seven (7) members in 1956.
The newly formed Authority created a sewer department which took over an old and deteriorated sewer system from the City of Sunbury. The system was almost entirely a combined sanitary and storm water system that discharged untreated sewage to the waters of the Commonwealth. The newly formed Authority was faced with a monumental task, the modernizing of the sewage system.
The construction of a new sewage treatment plant began in 1949, in concert with the flood protection project. Sewage pumping stations and interceptors were constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while the sewage treatment plant, a primary system, and interceptors was being constructed by the newly formed Authority. The treatment plant was designed to manage a population of 23,000 at a cost of 1.8 million, including the force mains and the Spring Run interceptor. The flood system, which included the sewage pump stations and remaining interceptors was completed at a cost of 6.6 million.
Shortly following the completion of these two major projects, the Commission of the City of Sunbury designated an additional project to the Authority, the acquisition of the city water supply system. On December 29, 1955, the Commission approved the acquisition of the Sunbury Water Company, a privately owned company that served the entire city and a small portion of Upper Augusta. The acquisition was confirmed by ordinance on January 2, 1956 and later became effective on February 1, 1956. The stock of the former Sunbury Water Company was purchased by the Authority through a $2,700,000 bond issue.
January 4, 1987 the Authority assumed a city debt of approximately $250,000 and took over full operation of the Solid Waste transfer station. The following year, through innovative management, the Authority was able to reduce disposal rates by 14%. Shortly thereafter, Pennsylvania enacted what was known as Act 101, the recycling act which added the additional responsibility of providing both curbside and drop-off recycling for the entire city. The Authority executed it’s responsibility with diligence and today provides one of the few remaining “free” curbside programs in the region. The Authority was recognized for their efforts by receiving the Governor's Waste Minimization Award in 1992.
January 4, 1993, the City of Sunbury transferred operation and maintenance responsibility of the flood protection system to the Authority. The system, approximately 50 years old, was in a state of disrepair. Officials from the US Army Corps categorized the Sunbury system as the second worst in the Baltimore district. The Sunbury Municipal Authority, having limited financial resources, was faced with another monumental challenge.
"Since the Authority’s inception in 1946, it has strived to provide the finest services at the lowest rates possible for our citizens, businesses and industry in our community."
In the Spring of 1995, through a concerted effort with state and federal legislators, the Hazard Mitigation Grant program and Authority staff, the Authority was able to secure needed funds to launch the largest rehabilitation initiative in the City’s history. The project cost , approximately 2.8 million, was funded entirely through state and federal funds. As a result of the concerted initiative, the Sunbury flood protection system has been deemed a model for others to follow both by the DEP and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2002, the Authority faced another challenge to eliminate the organic and hydraulic overload conditions at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. This renovation was completed in 2005 at a cost of $22,000,000. The Authority was successful in securing a one percent (1%), 30 year loan, from PENNVEST to fund this project.
Since the Authority’s inception in 1946, it has strived to provide the finest services at the lowest rates possible for our citizens, businesses and industry in our community. The Authority has successfully managed to secure millions in state and federal grant funds to reduce the financial burden of past challenges.
Today, the Sunbury Municipal Authority has grown to be the largest, specifically in the number of complex projects managed, of any Authority within the Commonwealth.
Throughout the Authority’s history it has been thrust into many complex challenges. The Authority has endured and met each challenge with the vigor and professionalism that can be expected of an agency serving the best interests of their community.
The "Director's Room", 1956
"Shortly thereafter, Pennsylvania enacted what was known as Act 101, the recycling act which added the additional responsibility of providing both curbside and drop-off recycling for the entire city."
What is an Authority?
An Authority is an independent legal corporation, governed by a board appointed by City Council which later serves the community independent of council. Authorities are formed specifically to manage projects that have difficult technical or financial requirements which require the sale of bonds to private investors. State law seeks to protect those private investors, as well as customers by placing the operations of an Authority in the hands of a board and full time managers that can act free of political interaction.
"The newly formed Authority was faced with a monumental task ........ ......... the modernizing of the sewage system."
For the next three decades the Authority would plan and execute upgrades, manage financial obligations and the daily operations of both the sewage and the water treatment systems for the city as a business. A business dedicated to improving the quality of life for all.
Sunbury Municipal Authority
462 S. 4th Street, Sunbury, PA 17801
570-286-5858 (v) 570-286-7162 (f)
Northumberland County, Pennsylvania