West Penn Township Supervisors held a public meeting Monday night at the Municipal Building to receive input from the community regarding the use of this year's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
Funds from the grant total $89,929.47.
Grant writer Karen Parish, Senior Project Manager, Mullin and Lonergan Associates, who attended the meeting, said that purpose of the CDBG is to service low income individuals in a geographical area. She added this includes providing handicap accessibility to municipality owned areas.
The township agreed to use this year's funds to improve or add handicap accessibility to both the municipal annex building and township building.
Work at the annex will include an upgraded handicap ramp and railing into the front of the building and related upgrades to the bathrooms. Work at the municipal building will include an addition concrete handicap access ramp and railing and related improvements to the bathrooms.
Supervisors said the project could take more than a year to be completed, until they get the funds and bids are awarded.
The township and Tamaqua Borough are among only nine municipalities in the county that receive their own grants, as distribution is based on population.
Only those municipalities that have more than 4,000 residents received their own grants. The remaining boroughs and townships must depend on sharing what funds the county receives from the CDBG allocations from the state.
Eight other Schuylkill County municipalities eligible to receive direct state funds will receive amounts as follows:
Tamaqua will receive $104,285.63; Butler Township will receive $89,902.65; Mahanoy City will receive $81,70.74; Minersville will receive $83,585.75; Pine Grove Township will receive $81,492.84; Schuylkill Haven will receive $91,529.51; Shenandoah will receive $88,733.98; and Wayne Township will receive $89.054.79.
Schuylkill County will be receiving $276,838 this year, slightly more than last year's grant of $275,000 and is now accepting applications from the non-entitled communities of funds for projects they hope to undertake.
The county commissioners decide on the amount of allocations based on the projects.