Grant could fund revitalization project

City Council’s finance committee gave a positive recommendation Tuesday for River Valley Transit to seek a $1.1 million grant from the state Department of Transportation as part of the East Third Street/Old City Revitalization.

The money, if approved, would go toward the realignment of Franklin Street and a project to make Basin Street two-way between Fourth and Third streets, said Kevin Kilpatrick, assistant general manager of River Valley Transit.

The application was sent in to the PennDOT ahead of time to meet a deadline, but the River Valley Transit requires a resolution of approval from council, Kilpatrick said.

The city will receive the grant or be denied may be learned between September and Nov. 8, he said.

The committee also gave a positive recommendation for River Valley Transit to use state grants toward the purchase of five additional service vehicles, including vans and cars for administrative business.

Finally, the committee gave a positive recommendation for Tom Keller Partners, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist firm, to be paid as a city consultant in a contract of $60,000 a year to seek funding sources for flood-mitigation efforts along Grafius Run watershed.

The money would come from $40,000 pulled from the general fund and $20,000 to be put into a line item of consultant fees in the upcoming budget, Councilwoman Liz Miele said.

Councilwoman Bonnie Katz caught a possible glitch in the contract proposal. After discussion, it was requested that Keller either not exceed $5,000 a month in travel expenses or be willing to remove such expenses in the contract.

In a separate responsibility the city and county are working together to seek funding for the recertification of the levee, estimated to cost $16 million.