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Groups line up for grant money in Chambersburg

The agencies asked for more money than the borough has to dole out, officials said.

The agencies asked for more money than the borough has to dole out, officials said.

February 12, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Nine agencies and the Borough of Chambersburg held out their collective hands Tuesday night asking for a cut of this year's Small Cities Community Development Block Grant funds.

Requests topped $653,249, while the borough will have less than $320,000 to divvy up.

Every year, organizations line up for a shot at the funding that comes from the federal government through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The borough can allocate about $57,000 of the funding to administrative costs, and only $48,000 can go toward public service programs. The remaining $215,000 can be used on "brick and mortar" projects, Borough Planner Gary Norris said.

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To qualify, applicants have to serve an urgent need, correct slums or blight or serve a population with 51 percent of low- to moderate-income residents, he said.

Tuesday's public hearing before the borough council was the first of two. A second hearing will be held Feb. 25, and council will make a decision next month on how to award the funds.

The proposals included:

  • The Borough of Chambersburg requested funds for five programs, including: $50,000 to continue its housing rehabilitation program; $50,000 to make sidewalks handicapped accessible; $70,000 to reconstruct West Catherine Street from South Main Street west; $15,000 to make the proposed Rail-Trail handicapped accessible; and $25,000 for the Recreation Department to improve West Washington Street.

  • The Cumberland Valley Mental Health Center asked for $34,400 to relocate its waiting room and improve the interior with new carpeting, paint and furniture.

  • Marantha, formerly known as Financial Counseling Services, asked for $54,000 to renovate its attic, which houses its clothing bank, and other projects.

  • The Waters Institute for African American History Inc. requested $100,000 to complete the purchase of 141 Lincoln Way West, a historic home the new organization wants to turn into a museum and research center.

  • Franklin County Legal Services asked for $29,549 to aid in the hiring of a Spanish-speaking paralegal to help with the overwhelming caseload the fledgling organization faced in its first year.

  • Building Our Pride in Chambersburg requested $15,000 to help with its summer nutrition program that provides meals to low- and moderate-income children during an eight-week summer program.

  • The Chambersburg Hispanic American Center asked for a total of $134,300, to hire an office manager, purchase a building and for youth programming.

  • The Franklin County Library System would like $40,000 to replace portions of its roof.

  • Downtown Chambersburg Inc., requested $26,000 to help with improvements to a 2,600-square-foot section of the Capitol Theatre.

  • The Chambersburg YMCA asked for $10,000 to assist its Sam's Program, which includes a Tuesday evening program for kids and a summer camp.
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