County picks 2 projects for CDBG funds

The Lycoming County commissioners selected the Franklin Township’s Lairdsville Sanitary Sewer and STEP Inc.’s Homes in Need projects Thursday to receive funding through the Community Development Block Grant award as recommended by SEDA-Council of Governments.

Kristin McLaughlin, SEDA-COG projects coordinator, made the recommendation based on funding to be received.

Franklin Township requested $250,000 in funding, more than the county’s allocation. Instead, the county will award $130,901 for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $2 million.

STEP requested about $75,000 to continue its Homes in Need project, targeting owner-occupied homes in Muncy. The county will award $72,000 and recommend not limiting the funding to Muncy although it may prioritize Muncy residents, McLaughlin said.

The final step is to allow community members to comment on the selected projects during the commissioners meeting on Oct. 12, McLaughlin said. Pending public comment, the commissioners will then vote on a resolution to submit the final application for funding.

Lycoming County is expected to receive $247,101 in grant funding to distribute for the 2017 fiscal year, she said. Jersey Shore Borough is to receive $85,006; Montoursville Borough, $87,045; and South Williamsport Borough, $101,204. The county’s share combined with funding going to the other boroughs amounts to $520,356.

Initially, six projects were proposed. One submitted by Washington Township was determined to be ineligible and the remaining three, submitted by the YWCA and American Rescue Workers, are not being recommended for funding.

McLaughlin said eligibility is determined by SEDA-COG and planning staff based on the timeliness of and need for the proposed projects as well as federal guidelines, national objectives, whether the communities already have funds for the project and other matters.

The commissioners thanked McLaughlin for her work.

“Since I have been here, you’ve brought in millions of dollars to our communities,” Commissioner Tony Mussare said. “These are projects that really help our most needing people, and you do it without any fanfare. I think it’s very important that you receive recognition and gratitude for your hard work for our communities.”