Friday, May 8, 2009
Efforts to bring more regular and predictable white water recreation to Stonycreek River are on hold for at least another 30 days. The Cambria Somerset Authority could not award bids to build a water release valve at its meeting Thursday because the state Department of Environmental Protection has not issued a needed water release permit. The Quemahoning Reservoir Whitewater Release Project hinges on the authority being able to release as much as 500 cubic feet a second from the Quemahoning Reservoir on scheduled days. Right now the Authority’s permit only allows it to take 150 cubic feet per second. Authority Board Chair James Greco says he thinks the permitting delay on the part of the DEP is due to a change in which office handles the water allocation permits. A decision fro the DEP is more than a month over due. Greco says he thinks there is a little confusion in the process. Greco says the grants do not allow them to begin work until all permits are in place but the grants are not in danger of expiring. However, he says he will have to ask the low bidders to extend their offers for another 30 days. Greco says the 30-day delay should not impact the over all project because the completion date was expected to be over the winter, well before the spring white water season.