County reviewing block grant proposals
County commissioners reviewed numerous proposals for Community Development Block Grant funding during their Tuesday morning meeting.
The proposals were submitted, but no decision will be made on them until at least the Aug. 26 meeting.
John Jennings, executive director of the Wyoming County Housing and Development Authority, met with representatives from both Falls Township and Meshoppen Borough to discuss their respective proposals.
Falls Twp. is requesting $54,146.40 to do road work on Creeks Falls Road and Blacksmith Road. The work would consist of a single and double coat, as well as tarring and chipping.
According to Robert Kenia, who represented Falls at the meeting, the township doesn’t have the money to fund the projects.
While no decision was made on the proposal, Jennings did say that “there have been many proposals in the past for roads, the majority of which have been turned down.”
Many road related projects are denied, according to Commissioner Judy Kraft Mead, because “the potential for us to get innundated with road projects is high.”
Meshoppen Borough submitted a proposal for $54,000 of grant money to fund the demolition of an old restaurant in town.
The building, which was deemed unrepairable, is located between the Meshoppen Library and the creek.
Bruce Priestner, who represented the borough at the meeting, said that the project cost would cover demolition, take-away, and the price of installing a railing between the edge of the property and the creek.
A third proposal was received from Bridge For Housing Opportunities requesting $100,000 in grant funding for work on Bridgeview Commons in Nicholson.
Bridgeview Commons will offer townhouses for low income families. There will be 14 properties in total when the project is completed.
The proposed funding would go towards building the houses for people with low and moderate income. The land on which the houses will be built was purchased with PHARE funds several years ago.
All proposals will be considered during the August 26 meeting, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
Including administrative costs and audit fees, the requests for CDBG funding totals $268,546.14. The Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which handles the funds, is expected to receive about $224,443, meaning that some proposed projects will have to be denied.
In a separate issue, commissioner Tom Henry motioned to move $19,000 in unused grant money from a previous year to the housing rehab fund.
The money originally was allocated to Mehoopany Township in 2010 for the removal of an architectural barrier at the municipal building.
Mehoopany had since decided not to go ahead with the project.
Commissioner Mead seconded the motion.
Commissioner Ron Williams was not in attendance at the meeting, so the motion passed unanimously with Mead’s and Henry’s vote.
Mead made a motion to approve and sign the ‘Tax Claim second quarter 2014 disbursement approval,’ which disbursed a total of $1,156,806.81 in tax revenue.
The majority of the money went to the school district. Henry seconded the motion, which passed.
Henry decided to delay approving appointments for the Northern Tier Planning Commission Advisory Committee.
Henry, who will become Chairman for Northern Tier on Friday, wants to make sure the appointees are willing to serve the two-year term.
The appointments will be approved by the next meeting.
Visitor’s comments were made by Jeff Kilmer of Smartwatt Energy, representing PP&L electric. Kilmer provided information concerning PP&L’s “Master-Metered Apartment Program,” which helps to lower utility costs for low income families.
To qualify for the program, a facility would need to have five or more residents where the residents don’t pay for their own electricity. The program is only available to PP&L customers.
Commissioner Henry said that the program sounded like a “wonderful idea,” but noted that the majority of Wyoming County residents are customers of either Claverack or Penelec.
Henry concluded by saying, “if we qualify, it sounds like a good deal.”
Air dates for the PCN television program that highlighted the history of the Wyoming County Courthouse will be Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. on the PCN channel.
The commissioners noted that the Wyoming County Planning Commission plans to meet on Wednesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. at the EMA building.
The commission will be addressing plans to build a silica transload facility in Tunkhannock Township.