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Waynesboro to receive more than $190,000 in block grant funds

January 17, 2002

Waynesboro to receive more than $190,000 in block grant funds



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro will get more than $190,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money this year, and for the first time some of it may be used for economic development and downtown revitalization projects.

CDBG funds also may go into the borough's housing rehabilitation project for the first time in more than two years, Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

No local agencies or groups showed up for a public hearing held before the council's regular meeting Tuesday to request any of the federal money. The council at its first meeting in March will recommend how the money will be spent, Hamberger said.

Possible projects that meet federal guidelines could include street repair in neighborhoods where low- and moderate-income residents live, handicapped accessibility projects and recreation.

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Last year, more than $100,000 in CDBG funds were earmarked for the renovation of the community's public swimming pool.

Downtown revitalization is being pushed by Douglas Tengler, the council's newly elected president. He wants to appoint three council members to a new downtown revitalization committee to work with Main Street Waynesboro Inc., and the downtown merchants bureau. Both groups are involved in recruiting new businesses and improving the downtown commercial center.

About one-third of downtown Waynesboro's 30-plus stores are vacant.

Tengler said he would consider a historic district for the central business district. The Waynesboro Historical Society is trying to get the district listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

"The borough hasn't done anything for downtown revitalization in the last 10 years," Tengler said. "We've let it go too long. If council thinks this is a bad idea, then they don't need to go with it."

Hamberger said a committee of council members would give efforts to revitalize the downtown "more stature."

The goal of the CDBG program is to improve communities with low- to moderate-income residents. For example, the money can be spent for street repair providing 51 percent of the people who live on the section to be repaired fall under government income guidelines, said Ed Geubtner, a Philadelphia consultant who advises the council on CDBG regulations.

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