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Chambersburg council reallocates funds

February 13, 2002

Chambersburg council reallocates funds



By STACEY DANZUSO
chbbureau@innernet.net


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council went along with a recommendation Tuesday to reallocate most of $80,000 in grant money to make downtown sidewalks handicapped-accessible and continue the historic preservation of the Capitol Theatre.

Last month, 10 groups asked for more than four times the available funding for various projects.

Council reallocated the money from the 1997 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant awards because the original recipient, Building Our Pride in Chambersburg, will be unable to use it before the June 3 deadline.

CDBG grants are federal funds aimed at helping groups that serve low- or moderate-income people and at preventing a slum or blight.

Of the $80,000, only $6,780 could be used for public service programs like after-school tutoring, which eliminated many of the requests.

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"The crux of it is the money has to be spent by June 3, 2002," Borough Planner Gary Norris said, in explaining why he recommended breaking down the funding the way he did.

Council approved reallocating the funds to:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The borough, $30,000 for wheelchair ramps and curb cuts at 20 corners.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Downtown Chambersburg Inc., $25,000 for masonry repairs to the exterior of the south and west walls of the Capitol Theatre.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> New Visions Inc., $18,220 to make its entrance handicapped-accessible. The agency serves low-income residents with severe mental illness.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The Chambersburg Community Improvement Association, $6,780 to support its after-school tutoring program.

Council members voted 8-1 in favor of the reallocation.

Councilman Carl Helman opposed the breakdown, saying it ignored groups that have never received funding.

"Give someone else a chance," he said, noting Downtown Chambersburg Inc. and the Chambersburg improvement association already received funds under the original 1997 allocation.

"I don't think we can support one group to the exclusion of all others, and that's what seems to be happening," he said.

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