Grant-funded Infrastructure Improvements in Delta Spur Local Revival

July 2022:

When C.S. Davidson first started working with the borough of Delta at the far southeastern corner of York County, much of the town’s infrastructure was in disrepair. Now, thanks to a partnership between the company and the borough’s leaders, the streets and sewers of Delta have entered a period of renewal.

C.S. Davidson was appointed as engineer of record for the Delta Borough Municipal Authority (DBMA) in 2011, and appointed engineer of record by the borough itself in 2013. At that point in time, Delta was a small, underfunded borough of roughly 725 residents.

The borough had fallen on hard times. Streets were in poor conditions, with curbs and sidewalks missing or badly damaged. There was an ancient storm water system largely consisting of slate which was also in mostly poor condition.

The borough’s leaders and the community all wanted to see the area improve. They got the attention of outside county leaders, including state legislators, York County and PECO, the local electric utility. When C.S. Davidson took over as engineer, the company’s executives knew the borough needed all the help it could get. But with so few residents, it had a small rate base and the authority did not want to raise rates on what is largely an older population.

Getting grants to pave the way

C.S. Davidson started doing studies of the existing infrastructure to create an inventory of necessary repairs. With all that information in hand, the company began applying for grants.

The federal Community Development Block Grant program, which supports low to moderate income residents, was already involved in one project in Delta and continued to be interested in projects there. C.S. Davidson helped secure more of that funding which rebuilt Chestnut and Broad streets, along with other borough roadways. Additional CDBG funding will be distributed soon to help rebuild additional sections of Main Street.

After securing funds to improve roadways for walking, driving and biking, C.S. Davidson turned its attention to the stormwater and overall water system. Portions of the Delta water system are more than 100 years old. When the company took over as engineer of record, the system had water loss of about 40 percent through leaky pipes.

Now, after the system was rehabilitated thanks to grants C.S. Davidson helped secure, it loses less than 20 percent.

“What some of the grants have been able to do is combat an overall depression you had in the community,” said Christopher Toms, C.S. Davidson chief operating officer who represented the Municipal Authority as engineer of record. “Now there’s a much more positive atmosphere because they found a way to improve the quality of life in the area.”

The grants C.S. Davidson helped the borough secure over the past 10 years have helped fund more than $1 million in infrastructure improvements in Delta. Those grants, along with low interest loans, came from the block grant program as well as the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority, among others.

After all the improvements, the borough is far more walkable and drivable now than any time in recent memory, said John Klinedinst, chief administrative officer for C.S. Davidson. John represented the borough as engineer of record. He credits local leadership and elected officials for rallying around the projects.

“We had their whole administrative team behind us and they trusted us to get this work done, especially once we demonstrated that we cared about Delta and we started to produce grant funding,” he said. “I think there’s a sense of pride now because the place looks good. There’s more confidence among the leadership of the borough and the residents of the community.”