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Money's out there, borough and township officials hear

August 06, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Two representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development met with Waynesboro-area community leaders Tuesday to list myriad programs in which the town can get money for things like planning, zoning, official maps and rehabilitation of empty storefronts.

In fact, Louis D. Coln and Ed LeClear told municipal officials to approach them with any project. They promised to make arrangements with state agencies that could help.

The Borough of Waynesboro and surrounding Washington Township were encouraged to tackle most efforts together.

"We're basically one economic unit, and we realize that," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

The group went over a list of "priority action" items that not only included general statements like "protect natural resources," but also tackled developing concepts like the municipalities obtaining the soon-to-be-vacant armory on Pa. 316 and forming a board to govern historic structures.

"There are some 'historic' structures that have been lost due to decay," Township Manager Mike Christopher said. Yet, sometimes a person is willing to put up the money to save and rehabilitate that building, he said.

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A historic review board or public notice period could help make people aware that the structures are slated for demolition, Christopher said.

LeClear encouraged Christopher and Hamberger to work together for zoning regulations that would be the same regardless of municipal lines, although the managers pointed out their different needs.

"We're more economic development and re-development oriented," Hamberger said, "while they're more growth containment oriented."

Coln shared information about a mixed-use investment program for downtown buildings, allowing developers to eventually obtain funds used to pay down the mortgage on buildings that would have a store, offices and condominiums.

The DCED meeting came as part of the borough and township's ongoing joint comprehensive planning process. The state agency provided partial funding for that project.

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