Blair Commissioners Examine Grant Funding Potential | News, Sports, Jobs

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Major upgrades to Williamsburg, Newry and Lower Trail are being proposed as part of a three-year plan to use Blair County Community Development Block Grant funds.

The county-level CDBG program addresses improvement needs in 16 of Blair County’s smaller communities and boroughs.

Blair County Social Services Department Grants Coordinator Trina Illig, speaking about plans for fiscal year 2021, which is underway, noted that Allegheny Township has requested $ 12,000 to help residents on the along Cory Lane / Mill Road in Carson Valley to pay for sewer hookups.

It has also set aside $ 206,973 for housing rehabilitation for residents across the county.

She said the long-standing housing rehabilitation program would meet a great need in the county’s smaller boroughs and townships.

As of last week, the county had 79 households on the waiting list for rehabilitation funds.

CDBG funds come from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Funds are limited, but as Illig’s three-year projections show, CDBG money can be combined with funds from other sources to undertake major improvements.

For example, she proposes a Williamsburg Streetscape project to improve High Street in the borough

The project would cost $ 1,190,066.

Chairman of the Commissioners Bruce R. Erb noted that Williamsburg is prone to flooding.

The streetscape, he said, would not solve the flooding problem, as the water that causes flooding during times of heavy rains comes from the roads.

He hopes the plans for the streetscape could be combined with PennDOT’s efforts to make much-needed improvements along the Borough’s main street.

Another project mentioned by Illig would be improving streets and drainage along Blarney Street, Patrick Lane and Dublin Street in Newry.

CDBG was used to fund improvements in southern Newry.

The proposed improvements cost around $ 1.4 million and would be spent on improvements on the north side of the borough.

Illig said she is trying to find additional funds to complement the CDBG effort in Newry.

The third project over three years was to bring the Lower Trail areas in Flowing Springs, Ganister and Williamsburg into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

No cost estimate was available for this effort.

Commissioners Erb, Amy E. Webster and Laura O. Burke will make a decision on which projects to include in Blair’s 2021 CDBG application at next Tuesday’s meeting.

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