Grants awarded for Mansfield playground, other area projects

MANSFIELD — The borough will receive a $150,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority toward the Academy Street Playground renovation project.

The funds were approved by the authority Monday as part of a total of $1.15 million in state funding for local flood protection, trail, recreation and water projects in the 25th Congressional District of Sen. Joseph Scarnati, R-Brockway.

According to Director of Codes and Public Works Shawn Forrest, the grant comes through as part of the second round of funding utilizing natural gas impact fee funding.

The borough set aside a 15 percent match from its general fund to be eligible for the funding.

“We set aside some Act 13 monies plus donations from fundraising, totaling approximately $35,000 with $30,000 of general fund money,” he said.

Borough council guaranteed up to $75,000 for the $188,000 project, Forrest said, “so we have enough funds to do the base project.”

The borough still is waiting on a decision for an $80,000 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant, “but we haven’t heard an answer yet. That one could come through at any time,” Forrest added.

That grant is a 50/50 grant, meaning the borough must provide a matching amount, but it could be an “in-kind” match with labor and materials supplied by the borough crew.

The old playground equipment was removed in August, Forrest said, and will be replaced with a “tot” playground, plus a playground for children aged 5 to 12, two sets of swings for the same age groups, the pavilion will be relocated and the basketball courts updated with new surfacing, poles and backboards, Forrest said.

“It also will be handicap accessible,” he added.

Forrest said once design work is completed this winter, equipment will be ordered and “as soon as the weather breaks in the spring we can start construction.”

Forrest expressed gratitude Scarnati, as well as his local aid Chuck Dillon; state Rep. Matt Baker, R-Wellsboro; the Tioga County commissioners, the Visitor’s Bureau, YMCA, Betterment Organization of Mansfield and local surrounding townships, who all provided letters of support for the project.

Clinton County also received $10,499 in Sewage Facilities Program funding to go toward planning costs associated with preparing its Act 537 plan update to evaluate options for upgrading existing wastewater treatment plant to address deficiencies in the system, aging equipment, clogging pipes and nitrogen levels. The project cost is $20,998.