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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:04:02 03:47:03

STAFF PHOTO/C.J. MARSHALL Joan Jenkins points to the sidewalks on Main Street in Nicholson that are in disrepair and would benefit from a $630,000 grant from PennDOT. But the borough must first come up with $30,000 in matching funds before it can obtain the grant.

Joan Jenkins would like to see improvements be made to the two blocks of Main Street in Nicholson, right off of Route 29.

Jenkins, a member of the Nicholson Borough Council, said the borough has received a $630,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for repair of the sidewalks and curbs, as well as installation of additional lighting.

However, there is a catch.

In order to use the grant, Nicholson must provide $30,000 in matching funds. Jenkins said she has been informed by other council members that the borough does not have the money necessary to obtain the $630,000.

Jenkins explained that her predecessor on council, Christian Zeme, obtained the grant from PennDOT via the federal Transportation Alternatives Program in February 2017.

But Zeme had to resign his spot on council when he moved out of time. Over the past year, nothing has been done to take advantage of the grant.

“It got lost in the shuffle,” Jenkins explained. “I later came across it.

According to a letter sent to Zeme by PennDOT, the borough has until August to take advantage of the grant.

“As such, all TAP projects must have all approvals, including environmental and construction plan approvals by August 2018,” according to the letter.

But when she went to other council members about the grant, Jenkins as informed the borough does not have the money to apply for it.

“We had to raise taxes last year to cover expenses,” she said.

She and other council members have been looking into the possibility of obtaining the $30,000 via a separate grant.

“We talked to Northern Tier, but no grants are available out there for that figure,” she said.

“I want the public to know about this,” Jenkins continued. “If there is anyone out there who can help out, we’d love to hear from them.”

Jenkins said she has contacted South Western gas company, but has not heard back from them.

“I spoke to representatives from Cabot,” she said. “They told me they will review the grant and get back to me.”

Jenkins said they are looking for the money from different sources, and will accept smaller donations.

“We need to do something with the downtown area. The sidewalks are a mess, the blacktop is all cracked,” Jenkins explained. “The curbs need repairing and new lights need to be installed.”

Anyone interested in donating money to help Nicholson Borough obtain the grant may call Jenkins at 570-942-6259.