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'Year of change' touted for downtown Waynesboro

April 18, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Borough Councilman John Cook calls 2003 "a year of change for downtown Waynesboro."

Cook, speaking to members of Downtown Waynesboro Inc. at the promotional group's annual meeting Thursday night, said the borough has much to look forward to this summer.

Cook's list of projects and programs that will either be started or completed this year includes finishing the $1.2 million renovation of Northside Pool in time for the new season.

The Borough Council expects to adopt ordinances controlling loitering and loud noise by this summer, Cook said.

Borough residents will see adjudicated juveniles sentenced to do community service working on borough facilities and property for the first time this year.

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And, Cook said, the borough is launching its first downtown facade improvement program this year, using $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds.

Cook said the grant program designated downtown Waynesboro as an area inhabited by low- to moderate-income residents. The designation makes it eligible for grant money.

The area to be included in the facade improvement program runs east on Main Street from Fairview Avenue to Clayton Avenue and all businesses that face Main Street to Virginia Avenue, Cook said.

Business and property owners along the route are eligible for up to $2,500 for facade renovations. Applicants are entitled to 50 percent of the total project cost, but the grants cannot exceed $2,500, according to the guidelines. The money can be spent on repair and cleanup projects, painting, signs and awnings, according to the guidelines.

The owners have to pay up front and will be reimbursed within 15 days of completion of the project, Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

"The grants are an incentive for property owners to fix up their building facades," Cook said.

The borough's program is fashioned after one in Chambersburg, Pa., that Cook said is successful.

Councilman Clint Barkdoll said the proposed loitering and noise ordinances are being drafted from similar laws in other Pennsylvania communities. The council's downtown and finance committee will begin preparing the ordinances for council consideration, Barkdoll said.

People hanging out on borough streets, cars with loud radios and exhaust systems are targets of the new ordinances, Barkdoll said.

"We still have some enforcement concerns to be ironed out," he said.

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