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Mahoning block grant funds will be used for road repairs

Published August 27. 2013 05:00PM

Director Judy Borger of the Carbon County Office of Planning and Development held a second hearing prior to Monday evening's Mahoning Township supervisors' meeting for the purpose of reviewing the Community Development Block Grant allocation of the township's entitlement for 2013.

The money will be utilized for resurfacing and repairing Westside Drive in the community.

The project has been estimated to cost $82,883 including $67,965 in project costs and $14,918 in grant administrative fees.

"This is the second hearing for public comment on the project as required in the CDBG program regulations," said Borger. She told the township the hearing and the project was advertised in the newspaper.

Borger said the projects must benefit low to middle income persons in the township and with Secretary Natalie Haggerty's assistance, they have been surveying the residents along the project road to make sure they meet income guidelines.

Supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt asked if the absence of federal census maps was contributing to this survey requirement, but Borger said the guidelines request the surveys regardless to ensure the guidelines are being properly followed.

Steigerwalt asked if there was money remaining from the 2012 project since it was his understanding the project was funded with other county funds.

She told him she was not sure but she would investigate when she returned to the office. Supervisor Frank Ruch showed her a paper that seemed to indicate there was still several thousand dollars remaining.

Chairperson John Wieczorek asked if the money could be used to help renovate the municipal building, pointing out a similar project in Lehighton. Borger said she would need the township officials to provide an exact idea of what they wanted to do, but typically government buildings do not qualify.

She pointed out the building that was renovated in Lehighton was a community building and the police department and borough offices were not located in the Annex.

"One exception is handicapped accessibility but there are guidelines that need to be met," she said.

She also told the board that the best way to determine if their ideas are eligible is to provide her a plan that she could submit to their grant manager to get a ruling.

Since there were no further questions the hearing adjourned with Borger reminding the board that their portion of the permit application was due so that the September 20 deadline could be met.

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