Commissioners Ok CDBG projects

The Lycoming County commissioners approved the county’s Community Development Block Grant budget Thursday.

The final public budget modification hearing will be held Sept. 12, during which the commissioners are slated to approve submitting the county’s application to the Department of Community and Economic Development for approval.

SEDA Council of Governments recommended three projects for funding approval – Mifflin Township Park improvements: $50,000; the DuBoistown sanitary sewer lateral repair grant program: $106,776; the STEP Inc. Homes in Need program: $50,000.

Representatives of those projects shared with the commissioners why their projects are important.

Mifflin Township Recreation Board Chair Gene Kurzejewski said the project evolved from a community survey completed by various agencies, which found that the township park is heavily used by residents interested in walking and fishing. Because of that survey, the walking trail will be extended, a fishing platform will be added and the park will be made more handicap accessible.

John Bickhart, engineering services manager, Lycoming County Water & Sewer Authority, said the requested funding by DuBoistown will go a long way toward much-needed improvements for the borough’s $60,000 sewer project to replace sewer laterals of low-to-moderate income homeowners. The impact will be from DuBoistown to the Williamsport Sewer Authority, Bickhart said.

Tom Salisbury, director of housing and building initiatives at STEP Inc., said he appreciates the proposed funding for the Homes in Need program, which helps applicable homeowners comply with regulations on home-related issues such as roofing, siding, windows, electrical and plumbing.

He said there is a tremendous need for the program, as demonstrated by its long waiting list.

“It improves quality of life throughout the county,” Salisbury said.

The commissioners also adopted a resolution for years 2013-2025 to use a $90,000 Lycoming County Traffic Project grant from PennDOT for traffic safety education in Lycoming, Bradford and Tioga counties based on need.

“Due to the increase in traffic from the Marcellus Shale industry, Lycoming County was awarded additional grant funds,” said Mya Toon, county grants, property and purchasing manager.