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Public meeting set for CDBG funds in West Penn

Published August 22. 2013 05:04PM

A public meeting will be held at the West Penn Township Municipal Building on Monday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. to receive input on projects to be carried out from the $83,929.47 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds the township will be receiving from the state.

A similar meeting will be held earlier by the Schuylkill County Commissioners on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 10 a.m. in the commissioners' board room at the courthouse in Pottsville, as county CDBG director Gary Bender is administering the township's grant and members of the public can submit their requests.

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.

According to Bender the nine municipalities eligible to receive direct state funds will receive amounts as follows:

West Penn Township, population, 4,442, will receive $83,929.47; Tamaqua Borough, population 7,107, will receive $104,285.63; Butler Township, population 5,524, will receive $89,902.65; Mahanoy City Borough, population 4,162, will receive $81,70.74; Minersville Borough, population 4,397, will receive $83,585.75; Pine Grove Township, population 4,123, will receive $81,492.84; Schuylkill Haven Borough, population 5,437, will receive $91,529.51; Shenandoah Borough, population 5,071, will receive $88,733.98; and Wayne Township, population 5,113, 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.

Receives complaint

Bender, who also is in charge of the county's demolition department, reported receiving a complaint from resident's in MaryD, Schuylkill Township, about a home in the borough which is reported to be filled with cats and trash. It is a double home with only one half occupied and claims people residing in the building throw out their trash in the yard.

Bender said he had received a request to have the building razed. He said the county cannot supersede the jurisdiction of the township supervisors as the township has its own code.

Funds available

Bender reported Federal Environmental Management Agency (FEMA) has set aside $1.2 million in funds for 16 counties, including Schuylkill County, who were ravaged by two tropical storms which struck one after the other about two years ago, causing property damages from wind and rain.

The communities can apply for funds to help the cost of rebuilding under the CDBG Disaster Recovery Program.

The county has received a request from West Mahanoy Township for funds to repair and upgrade the Industrial Road in the township.

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