City community development funding budget proposed

The city Finance Committee on Tuesday gave a positive recommendation to the city’s 2017 Community Development budget that’s based on estimated allocations the city will receive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The city estimates community development block grant funding of $944,106, said John Grado, city engineer and director of the community and economic development department.

About $622,129 will be allocated to public facilities and improvement activities including $310,011 for street construction/reconstruction. Activity includes reconstruction of Hillside Avenue from Arch Street to Lilac Lane, Ross Street from Packer Street to Mulberry Street, and Louisa Street from Mt. Carmel Street to Wildwood Boulevard.

Work will include curbing and sidewalk, landscaping, street rehabilitating and drainage improvements. It is estimated to cost $75,000 to remove architectural barriers for those with handicapped accessibility needs.

The city will be using a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ grant of $250,000 for improvements to Brandon Park.

About $125,000 was allocated to the project this year, and the city proposes allocating another $125,000 to meet the local match requirement in the grant application.

The scope of work includes tennis court improvements, adaptive reuse of the Showers pool area, playground and pathway improvements, landscaping and storm-water management.

The Way’s Garden restoration project was funded in the amount of $40,000 with 2015 CDBG funds and leverages funding from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Lycoming County, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania and private investment.

The funding allocation next year is an additional $30,000, Grado said. The work scheduled includes landscape and site improvements, garden structure additions, benches, an event lawn, lighting and a handicapped accessible parking area.

Other funding is allocated toward home rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance and rental rehabilitation programs.