County block grant funding tops last year’s

Lycoming County’s federal fiscal year 2013 Community Development Block Grant allocation is $252,167, which is around $900 more than last year’s funding, said SEDA Council of Governments Project Coordinator Kristin McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said SEDA-COG predicted a 6 to 8 percent cut due to sequestration, but the communities they work with got an increase across the board. McLaughlin couldn’t explain why that happened, but it was on the federal level.

About $316,000 from 2009 and 2010 CDBG funds are available for rebudgeting, as well, because of timeline constraints.

But the good news has to be in perspective of what funding was four years ago. Over those years, the county has seen rather large cuts in CDBG funding. Here’s the trend:

2013: $252,167

2012: $251,254

2011: $295,099

2010: $363,900

2009: $330,000

Out of those funds, the Lycoming County commissioners may approve the county’s CDBG project finalization Thursday. If approved, the final public hearing and budget modification hearing will be held Sept. 12. There, the commissioners may approve a resolution to submit the application to the Department of Community and Economic Development for approval.

SEDA-COG, which administers the county’s CDBG program, recommends the following projects and amounts for approval:

Mifflin Township Park improvements: $50,000

DuBoistown sanitary sewer lateral repair grant program: $106,776

STEP Inc. Homes in Need program: $50,000

Administration/planning: $45,390

The Mifflin Township Park $88,000 project will upgrade and install handicap accessibility improvements in the park as part of a larger project, such as aggregate trail surfaces and accessible parking spaces, concrete landing pads for accessible parking spaces and a timber on-shore fishing platform.

The DuBoistown $60,000 sewer project will be for sewer lateral replacement to low-to-moderate income homeowners.

STEP Inc. requested the county continue funding its Homes in Need program. They were allocated $100,000 in both 2011 and 2012 for the program.

Administration and planning funding will go toward county staff working on CDBG activities, planning studies related to community development, and $42,180 for SEDA-COG’s professional and administrative services agreement.

Not recommended for funding approval are:

Lycoming Water and Sewer Authority’s Beaver Lake Sewage Treatment Plant emergency generator funding of $15,000 because rebudgeted funds of $73,206 from 2009 and 2010 will be recommended for approval.

Cascade Township emergency shelter funding of $25,000 because fundability has not been established and additional information requested on the project was not provided by the township.

Old Lycoming Township’s Cottage Avenue sewer funding of $84,000 because the project is underdeveloped, based on the uncertainty of the buyout process and the number of homes that would qualify as low-to-moderate income.

Limestone Township Municipal Water Authority’s phase-one compliance improvements funding of $80,000 because this project was determined not fundable based on the results of a survey.

Picture Rocks Borough flood damaged home demolition funding of $22,000 because the request for funding was withdrawn.