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Act 13 funds available for recreation projects

Approximately $150,000 in Act 13 Funds are now available for community park and recreation projects following approval of the release of the monies by the Lycoming County Commissioners at their weekly meeting.

The grant funds are being offered through the Act 13 Fund and the Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund Mini Grant Program.

“Act 13 funding has been around since 2012,” said Billy Clees, Natural Resource Planner in the county’s Planning & Community Development Department.

“To my understanding the funds are derived from an impact fee for natural gas drillers. 60% of those fees are returned to the communities, counties and municipalities, that the fees come from, these are termed “unconventional Gas well Funds.” The other 40% are termed “Marcellus Legacy Funds“. These funds are where Lycoming County’s Mini Grant Program originated. Lycoming county receives both types of Act 13 funding,” Clees explained.

Eligible applicants can submit applications for consideration within their communities. Those eligible to receive the funds include municipal governments and non-profit organizations. An application must be submitted in order to be considered for the grant money.

Whether a park is owned by a municipality or a community organization, the candidate project site must be open to and benefit the public. Typical grant awards will not exceed $25,000.

The mini-grant program has been very successful to date in Lycoming County, according to information from the Planning and Community Development Department.

“To my knowledge the county mini grant program was created in 2017 and only ran for that one year due to limited funding. The program was very popular, though,” Clees said.

“The continued requests for park and recreation funds prompted Lycoming County to re-introduce the mini grant program as an effective way to offer financial assistance to projects that otherwise would be unknown to the county. The application process will allow the County to distribute funds fairly based upon ranking factors,” he said.

“In 2017 the County helped to fund 14 park projects for a grand total of $161,370.00. Over the years the County has helped to fund individual projects so the total projects funded would be much more,” Clees added.

Anyone interested in applying should submit an application to the county by Feb. 28, Applications are available on the county’s website at www.lyco.org.

For more information, contact Clees by phone at 570-329-4761 or by email at wclees@lyco.org.

In other business, the Commissioners approved revisions to the travel and business related expense policy, increasing the mileage reimbursement rate to $.58.5 per gallon for county employees.

Agreements approved by the commissioners included: equipment lease with John Deere for mowers at the golf course, $89,020, paid through golf course revenue; Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc., a change order to extend the Muncy Stream bank project to 6/30/22 and an increase of $72,000 overall; first amendment to agreement with the Department of Community and Economic Development to extend the Lairdsville Sanitary Sewer System until Sept. 30,2022; Keystone Communications LLC for professional services on the county’s radio systems, $6,766; and an amendment to agreement with Professional Petroleum Service Co. to do repairs for Resource Management Services.

The board also approved the Ag Land Preservation Certification of county funds for the 2022 program year in the amount of $250,000. The funds help to keep development from occurring on farmland.

Beginning Feb. 3, the commissioners will meet Thursdays instead of Tuesday.

The next regular meeting will be at 10 a.m., Jan. 25 in the Commissioners’ Board Room, first floor Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.

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