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Franklin County Commission to allot grant money

February 05, 2001

Franklin County Commission to allot grant money



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Franklin County Commission took into account the basic need of water when discussing grant money it will allocate to area agencies later this month.

"We want to focus on water. It is an important thing that can't be underestimated in value to the community," said Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas.

"The needs of water are something that can't be taken for granted. There are areas that do not have good drinking water," he said.

Three of the four grant requests the county will fund with its federal Community Development Block Grant money this year reflect that.

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For 2001, the county has $482,978 in CDBG funds to divide between six local agencies that requested more than $929,472 in aid, said Phil Wolgemuth, Franklin County planner.

The Franklin County Commission is expected to approve the recommendations at a Feb. 15 meeting.

The applications were rated on a 100-point scale based on the seriousness of the problem, how the project would benefit low-income residents and how the project fit in with the county's comprehensive plan, Wolgemuth said.

The Quincy Township (Pa.) Sewer Authority's request for $44,000 for tap fee and hook-up subsidies to help low-income families connect to the water system rated highest, with a final score of 88.

The subsidies are part of an $8 million project to develop a sewage system to collect and treat wastewater in the more populated areas of the township.

The Mont Alto (Pa.) Municipal Authority rated an 86 on its request for $200,000 for water system upgrades.

The authority is developing an additional well source and storage tank to bolster its existing supply, especially during emergency and drought conditions.

Both Quincy Township and Mont Alto will receive full funding of its requests.

The Indian Lake Camp Corp. in Fannettsburg, Pa., will receive $100,000 of its request for $341,000 for water system upgrades, including developing a larger water storage capacity and improving transmission lines to alleviate low pressure, low flow and water shortage problems.

The South Central Community Action Programs will get $70,000, partially funding its request of $138,000 to begin a trial program for county-wide housing rehabilitation.

The money will allow SCAAP to rehabilitate six homes in the county owned by low-income residents, Wolgemuth said.

The program has shown success with a similar program in Adams County, Pa., he said.

The final two requests, one from Franklin-Fulton Counties Mental Health/Mental Retardation for $193,0000 for services for older adults at risk, and the second from the South Central Community Action Programs for $13,472 to fund an emergency services aide, will not receive funding.

About $69,000 will be used for administrative costs, but that's down 4 percent from last year, Wolgemuth said.

"This way we could pass on more to the local communities," he said.

The grants will not become official until the Franklin County Commission votes on them next week.

Franklin County is different from some other communities that received CDBG grants because the commissioners operate under a four-pronged plan of objectives they outlined in 1999.

"Our proposed budget includes projects that fall within these objectives," Wolgemuth said.

Those include comprehensive planning projects that direct system improvements and development toward existing communities, public facility projects that address sewer and water needs on a regional basis, affordable housing projects and architectural barrier removal projects that improve handicapped-accessibility to public buildings.

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