Council considers block grant funds

Montoursville Borough Council discussed possible uses for this year’s allotment of Community Development Block Grant funding during its regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Among the possible projects considered were street improvements and handicapped accessible doors for the municipal building.

Kristin McLaughlin, of SEDA-Council of Governments, which administers the state funding, noted that the borough should receive about $94,000 this year.

She noted that the money can be used for a range of community-based projects including infrastructure, housing and to eliminate blight in the borough.

Some left-over funding from previous years can also be used for new projects.

Borough officials noted that Chestnut Street is among those streets in need of work.

McLaughlin noted that work on curbing, sidewalks, stormwater and paving can be part of a CDBG project.

Mayor Steve Bagwell mentioned using funding to buy electronic doors to enhance handicapped accessibility at the borough building.

McLaughlin said such a project would likely be eligible.

Borough officials expressed disappointment about being unable to use CDBG money to purchase a wheelchair swing in Indian Park.

The borough’s application for that particular project was denied last year, McLaughlin said.

“Each year, we have so many things to benefit the community, but we can’t do a wheelchair swing in the park,” Councilman Christopher Lucas said.

McLaughlin explained that some projects simply aren’t eligible for any number of reasons.

Councilman Mark Tillson asked, “How do we get the best bang for our buck?”

He rejected the idea of spending money once again on a curb-cut project for borough sidewalks.

In other matters, council approved recommendations from Conrad Siegel Actuaries to upgrade employee pensions. The cost to the borough amounts to $17,000 over the next two years.

Council approved the purchase of a jackhammer for an excavator from Cleveland Brothers for $9,144.

Council agreed to pursue the purchase of an air conditioning unit for the borough employee breakroom.

Bagwell lauded borough employees and the police department for their work surrounding President Donald Trump’s visit to Montoursville.

Police Chief Jeff Guyrina added, “Everything went much smoother than expected.”

He said borough streets were fairly clean of trash following the May 20 event.

Council met in executive session for personnel reasons following the regular meeting.

The next monthly meeting is set for Monday, July 1 at 7 p.m.