Rush Township began a pair of construction projects in the Hometown area this week.

Meanwhile, the township is seeking residents to apply for a low to moderate housing rehabilitation program.

One project is located on SR54 next to the Rush Township Municipal Building. The township acquired the adjacent property at 116 Mahanoy Ave. for future expansion, and this week the house on the parcel was demolished.

Grand Prix Site Excavating, Hometown, owned by Ed and Carl Ankiewicz, won the bid for the demolition at $8,700.

The razing of the building included the demolition and removal of the brick house structure on the property, disposing of the debris in a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection landfill, disposing of the concrete, block and brick in a clean dump area, completely removing the foundation and slab, backfilling the foundation and grading and seeding the disturbed area.

"We bought the project because we are landlocked," said Stephen W. Simchak, chairman of the Rush Township Board of Supervisors. "We're looking at putting a possible veterans memorial on the site and for expanding our road and police departments."

The township held a bid opening in March for its 2010 Road Improvement Program. Five bids were received, with the bid awarded to low bidder Livengood Excavators at $82,936.39. Other bids were from Hazleton Site Contractors ($93,787); HRI, Inc., Eastern Region ($96,673.20); Slusser Brothers/Pennsy Supply ($114,274) and Asphalt Paving Solutions ($114,761.85).

This week Livengood was laying asphalt on the area of Kahler Avenue, from Route 54 to Oak Street, and from Oak Street to John Street. There was also paving done in the area of Joyce Street as a change order in the project.

Housing rehab

The township has also announced that its housing rehabilitation program is open for applicants.

"We are looking to get people interested in the rehab program," noted Simchak, who said the township is applying for $350,000 to be utilized by residents.

The program is designed to encourage low to moderate income owner-occupants of the township to restore their homes to a decent, safe and sanitary condition. Eligible homeowners will receive financial assistance to help them fix their homes to established Minimum Housing Rehabilitation Standards.

That assistance will be in the form of grants/non-interest bearing loans, in which the loan would be forgiven at the rate of 25 percent per annum over a period of four years; after four years, the loan would be forgiven.

Eligibility is based on the gross amount of income of all household members that is anticipated over the coming 12-month period. The gross income limits range from $30,150 for one person to $56,850 for a family of eight. These income limits represent the income by family size for the area as reported by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dated March 19, 2009.

Any township resident wishing to be put on the list for the Rush housing rehab program can apply at the municipal building, 104 Mahanoy Ave. Upon receipt of funding, the program will operate on a lottery basis until the funds are depleted.

Pro Design Plus is the township's consultant for the program and can be reached at (570) 874-2156. Additional applications are available at the township building.