Franklin County Commissioners award block grants

March 30, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to allocate $370,000 in Community Development Block Grants funds for water, sewer and sidewalk projects to benefit low- and moderate-income residents in four municipalities.

Quincy Township and the Mont Alto Municipal Authority received grants for water system improvements, said Dan Wolfe, a community planner for the county. The $135,000 grant to Mont Alto will complete its multiyear project, he said.

Quincy Township Supervisor Bob Gunder said his municipality received $50,000 toward a project that will provide water service to about 40 homes on Furnace Road. The total cost is estimated at $500,000 and will take about three years to complete.

The township line will eventually join the Mont Alto borough water line on Furnace Road, Gunder said. The township will apply for additional block grant funds in the next two years to assist in paying for the project, he said.


The Metal Township Municipal Authority will get $75,000 for an extension of its sewer system, a project that will be built in phases over several years, Wolf said. The project will add 29 homes to the system, he said.

Indian Lake Camp Corp., a development near Fannettsburg in Metal Township, was allocated $75,000 to replace a 2-inch water line with a 4-inch line, Wolf said.

Mercersburg will receive $35,000 this year to complete replacement of sidewalks on South Fayette Street. Wolf said the borough previously received grants of $124,000 and $35,000 for the project.

The Letterkenny Township Municipal Authority requested, but did not receive, $500,000 to pay for sewer laterals and tap fees for homes along Pa. 533 from the municipal building to Upper Strasburg. Instead, the township will apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for a competitive Community Development Block Grant, Commissioner Bob Thomas said.

Deteriorating septic systems are creating groundwater pollution in the area, which is also the source for drinking water, Thomas said. The sewer system being installed along the approximately four-mile stretch will add about 250 homes.

The county received seven requests for 2007 CDBG funding totaling more than $1.9 million, although the county often funds projects over a period of years. The county had a total of $420,791 this year and is retaining $50,791 to administer the grants.

Wolfe said the county can use up to 18 percent for administration, but typically keeps 12 percent. Thomas said that meant an additional $25,000 to fund projects this year.

Since 1995, the county has dispersed more than $8.4 million to communities through the CDBG program and the Pennsylvania's HOME program, Wolfe said. During that time, the county helped fund construction of five water systems, four water storage tanks, a sewer system, more than 1,000 sewer connections and other capital improvements, along with more than 150 home loans for first-time buyers, Wolfe said.

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