Although it is unclear how much Lycoming County will receive for its 2012 Community Development Block Grant program, what is clear is that more of the funding is being requested by local municipalities and organizations than the county will get.
That is according to William Lowthert, senior program analyst for SEDA-Council of Governments, the agency that administers the county's block grant program. Lowthert spoke Thursday during a public hearing hosted by the county commissioners.
The exact figure has not been revealed, but the county could expect to receive about $259,000, reflecting a 12-percent decrease in funding compared to last year, Lowthert said.
The county also has about $100,000 in unallocated funds from last year's block grant allocation.
Six applications, totaling close to $400,000 have been submitted for the funding, Lowthert said.
Muncy Township. The township is requesting $2,400 to develop an emergency operations plan. The total cost of the project is $3,000.
Muncy Creek Township. The township is requesting $27,500 for a bridge reconditioning project estimated to cost about $50,000.
Woodward Township Volunteer Fire Co. The company is requesting $43,000 to buy an emergency generator costing $48,000.
STEP Inc. The agency is requesting $150,000 for the Homes in Need program.
The YWCA. The agency is requesting $6,000 to build an accessible restroom costing an estimated $25,500.
Franklin Township. The township is requesting $250,000 for a sewer project costing an estimated $1.5 million.
Five county municipalities - the City of Williamsport, Loyalsock Township, and the boroughs of Jersey Shore, Montoursville and South Williamsport - receive their own block grant allocations, Lowthert said. The county's share is for entities outside those communities, he said.
Block grant funding has steadily declined over the last several years, Lowthert said. Last year, the county received $295,000; the year before, more than $300,000, he said.
The commissioners also hosted a public hearing regarding STEP Inc.'s application for an Accessible Housing Grant, which also is through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
The agency is requesting $150,000 from the department, said Rachelle Abbott, STEP director of planning.
According to Abbott, there is a high demand for accessibility improvements in the county due to an aging population and aging housing stock.
A large percentage of homes in the county were built before 1970, Abbott said. About 17 percent of county residents are elderly. Of those, more than 40 percent are considered disabled, she said.
The funding will be used with other funding sources to build wheelchair ramps, expand doorways and modify kitchens and bathrooms, she said.
The agency will partner with civic organizations and church groups to make the improvements, thereby getting the most out of the available funding, said Fred Shrimp of STEP's Office of Aging.