Shelter, Medic 2 speak up at Pa. block grant hearing

February 02, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday hosted the first of two public hearings required to distribute Community Development Block Grant money.

A consultant from Mullin & Lonergan Associates explained the federal funding, which is passed through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, can be used for the benefit of low- to moderate-income residents or blight.

The amount of funding for 2011 hasn't been released. The 2010 amount was $179,000 for the Borough of Waynesboro, which is an entitlement community.

The council asked for applicants during the hearing.

Bill Burcher, executive director of New Hope Shelter, asked for $282 for the insurance policy on the shelter van. The van transports clients to things like doctor's appointments and court appearances.

Medic 2 director Bernie Gomez-Kling said he'd like to talk to the borough about how block grant money could be used to assist the advanced life support's operations. He said 30 percent of calls are in the borough.

"Historically we've never received (financial) support from the borough itself," Gomez-Kling said.

An increased use of Medicaid is affecting revenues because it provides a lower reimbursement rate, Gomez-Kling said.

"It's becoming more difficult to provide the service we're doing," he said.

Medic 2 is reaching out to private industry, insurance billing departments and general memberships to drive up revenues, Gomez-Kling said.

Nearby Antrim Township provides annual financial support, Gomez-Kling said. He said he's trying to develop a mindset that advanced life support is a basic service like police and fire.

Medic 2 responds to 2,600 calls a year, according to Gomez-Kling.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said recommendations of distribution will be prepared for council and a second hearing scheduled. Historically, the borough has spent a significant portion of the funding for street work.

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