Borough Council doles out funds

March 15, 1998|By DON AINES

Borough Council doles out funds

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A program to renovate the homes of borough residents will receive $65,000 in 1998 federal Community Development Block Grant funds under a plan approved last week by the Chambersburg Borough Council.

The borough asked the council in February for $70,000 for the housing rehabilitation program, which benefits low-income homeowners. Under the program, qualified homeowners can get a grant of up to $5,000 for home repairs, followed by up to $5,000 in no-interest loans and market rate loans for more extensive renovations.

Borough Planner Gary Norris said at the February hearing that about 50 houses have been renovated through the program in recent years and another 39 were on a waiting list. He said the average home renovation cost $10,000 to $11,000.


The borough also requested $70,000 to acquire and demolish vacant buildings in blighted neighborhoods, but the council did not grant that request this year. Norris told the council the cleared lots would have been donated or sold at a nominal fee to a qualified organization to build low- to moderate-income housing.

Habitat for Humanity requested $40,000 to purchase two lots to build homes on. The council approved $26,000 for the project.

The council approved $247,800 in allocations to several borough programs and civic organizations. About $53,000 of the $301,000 allocated to the borough will be used to administer the grant program.

Other allocations include:

* Building Our Pride In Chambersburg, which will receive $36,000 of the $50,000 it requested for a multipurpose building.

* The Chambersburg Recreation Department, which received $15,000 of the $20,000 it requested to make its building more handicapped-accessible.

* The Chambersburg Community Improvement Association, which will get $36,000 of the $50,000 it requested to expand its building.

* For renovations to the Capitol Theatre, Downtown Chambersburg Inc., was allocated $20,000 of the $25,000 it requested.

* New Visions was approved for $30,000 of the $40,500 it requested to expand its clubhouse serving adults with chronic mental illness.

* A $40,000 request for a transitional housing program by the First United Methodist Church was reduced to $4,800. The program would provide temporary housing for people no longer eligible to stay at the county homeless shelter.

* The council approved $8,100 of the $8,600 requested by the Chambersburg YMCA for new programs.

* The council approved $6,900 of the $15,000 requested to help establish a community center for the borough's Hispanic residents.

Although the council allocated funds for the Hispanic center, the money won't be disbursed until an eligible organization is formed to receive the grant.

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