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Lycoming County commissioners approve CDBG funds for four agencies

The Lycoming County commissioners approved federal Community Development Block grants in the amount of nearly $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for four local agencies they say are integral in providing services to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants will go to the following agencies: STEP Supportive Housing Program, $55,000; American Rescue Workers, $55,000; North Central Sight Services, $19,776; and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $19,776.

The awards were made on the recommendation of Kristin McLaughlin, project coordinator with the SEDA-Council of Governments. The commissioners discussed the grant awards at their work session earlier this week and gave final approval Thursday.

McLaughlin said COVID-19 has hit all of the agencies in multiple ways.

“They are obviously having additional requests for services and assistance, but also COVID has impacted their ability to do fundraising,” she said. “So, they are seeing a loss of anticipated revenue at the same time they’re seeing an increase in need.”

Grants for STEP and the Rescue Workers both offer help with rental and mortgage assistance.

McLaughlin noted that, although the programs at the Rescue Workers and STEP sound similar, there are different clientele that use those services, which eliminates duplication of effort.

She added that the organizations work together, which would prevent someone calling both agencies to receive assistance.

The other two projects, McLaughlin said, are funded from the county in what her group is calling feeding Lycoming County residents. Those include the food bank and the sight services grant for assistance to the visually impaired.

Included with the grants is administration, which is 10 percent, or $16,600, bringing the total to $166,152 for the grants awarded to all the agencies.

McLaughlin announced that Jersey Shore and Montoursville have also selected projects to be funded. She said that Jersey Shore will receive $55,583 for what they are calling Jersey Shore assistance with $6,100 in administration, bringing that total to $61,683. Montoursville Borough has been allocated $10,000 for a glass partition at their borough building and $46,163 for Montoursville assistance. Montoursville’s administration costs of $6,200 bring the total awarded to the borough to $62,363.

In other actions, the commissioners:

• Awarded the Hazard Mitigation Plan Upgrade Project to Michael Baker International in the amount of $56,688. It was noted that this is the third update for the county’s plan, which covers all 53 counties.

• Approved a five-year contract with Dyeco Inc. to provide preventative and scheduled maintenance on county-owned and leased equipment at Resource Management Services, at a rate of $105 per hour.

Commissioners present were Rick Mirabito, in person, and Scott Metzger, remotely. Tony Mussare was absent.

The next meeting will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.

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