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Montoursville doles out CDBG, virus relief funds

The Montoursville Borough Council moved to allocate nearly $145,000 gained through two large state and federal funds to different projects Monday.

That money will be given to rental tenants or homeowners whose income has been affected by the pandemic on a “first-come, first-serve basis” through STEP or American Rescue Workers, said Kristin McLaughlin, senior program analyst at SEDA-Council of Governments.

For the administration, $6,200 will go to Lycoming County.

The remaining money, about $10,000, will go to improving the window at the John Dorin Municipal Building to ensure both the public and employees are safe from bacterial transfer.

Any remaining money will go towards the handicap ramp construction project at the front of the borough office, which received funding from previous years’ CDBG money.

Of the $144,089 from the 2020 Community Development Block Grant and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, council allocated money for curb cuts, and rent or mortgage relief organizations.

A total of $81,726 of the CDBG money will go to cutting curbs or sloping the curbs for easy travel. Each cutting costs about $5,000, making a full intersection cost about $20,000 in full.

McLaughlin said spending that money on curbs will save the borough money from spending other, more flexible, forms of grants.

“Everything this money is designed to fix is largely fixed in Montoursville, so you have a good problem in Montoursville,” she said. “The other thing about curb cuts, because I know they’re not fun… It’s going to save the borough money because, when you pave the street, you’re required to do all curb cuts.”

CDBG money must be used to help low-income communities.

Liquid fuel money, or money gained from the gas-drilling impact tax, can be spent on a much wider variety of things, she said.

The remaining $16,930 of the CDBG money will go to the administration, or Lycoming County who essentially sub-grants the money to the borough.

However, the borough will continue to investigate using the CDBG money for a pedestrian crossing over Loyalsock Avenue for easy access into Indian Park, near the John Dorin Municipal Building.

It isn’t clear that the money can legally be allocated to that purpose, said McLaughlin.

Of the $62,363 that the borough received in coronavirus relief money, $23,082 will go to STEP Inc. and $22,081 will go to the American Rescue Workers’ rental mortgage utility system.

In other business, the state Department of Transportation required the organizers of this years’ 9-11 Memorial Ride to send a letter to the municipalities they travel in asking two things — can the riders travel the borough’s borders and is the borough willing to indemnify the Commonwealth for anything that might happen during that ride by the members?

The borough council voted unanimously to allow the riders to drive through the borough, but voted 4 to 1 against accepting responsibility for any mishaps during the ride.

Misty Emick, Bob Brown, Ted Haines, and Chris Lucas voted yes; Mark Tilson voted no. Eric Greenway was absent.

In police business, the borough voted to sell a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado truck for $10,600 and a 1999 Generac generator for $2,350 through Municibid.

Under recreation, Weis Markets donated several benches to Indian Park.

“It’s a cool thing for one of our local businesses to throw some money at the park and support that, so we definitely appreciate it,” said Lucas.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the John Dorin Municipal Building, 617 N. Loyalsock Ave.

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