Antis Township sets March 20 for public input on 2003 CBDG funds

Like all correctly functioning local governments, the Antis Township Board of Supervisors want the public to give their input concerning state grant money.
On March 20 at 4 p.m., the supervisors have scheduled a public forum to hear township residents’ opinion on four projects the municipality chose to spend $147,092 in state-granted Community Development Block Grant funding.
At Thursday’s regular meeting of the board of supervisors, the townships leaders agreed on four projects that will be funded through the 2003 allotment. These include the Antis Township Scholarship Program, upgrades to the kitchen area of the ARC of Blair County Becky Sheetz building, the Interstate 99 Enterprise Zone for job creation and the extension of municipal water service to the Miller Trailer Court along Cemetery Road.
The largest of the projects is the extension of the municipal water lines to the 40 mobile homes in the Miller Trailer Park, located across from the high school. Cost for the project is estimated at more than $82,
“They do not have public water,” said Linda Kimmen, township secretary. “They have a well that is servicing all 40 trailers.”
Currently, the residents are being charges metered rates and the township have received numerous complaints from the residents who live there concerning the bad quality of water and low pressure.
The township conducted a survey of the residents to learn the income levels. Because more than 50 percent of those residents were of low or moderate income, the state allows CDBG funding to be used to furnish this type of infrastructure. It will be serviced by Bellwood Borough.
Kimmen said the project will take about two years to complete and early estimates show a cost of more than $130,000. About $81,000 will be used this year and the rest will be paid out of the 2004 allotment.
“That’s to completely put the lines in there and replace what’s there and hook people up,” she said. “It’s a really good project.”
According to Kimmen, the Antis Township Scholarship Program has been in existence for a few years. The program is designed to help families of low to moderate income levels that have students who are seniors and have been accepted into a college or trade school.
“Once they have been income accepted, or eligible, then it goes to scholarship committee at the high school,” said Kimmen. “The committee would then review the applicants.”
Kimmen said that normally, the township awards these scholarships to three or four students.
“Last year we had $12,000, but this year we only have $6,000,” she said.
This year, the state has allotted $17,156 for the program, but Kimmen noted that money needs to be dispersed over a two-year period.
An allotment of $2,168 has been earmarked for the upgrading of the kitchen at the Association of Retarded Citizens of Blair County, located within the Becky Sheetz Building.
Kimmen said all the municipalities who have been given CBDG funds were asked to contributed to this. It’s county money and all the municipalities money.
A little more than $13,000 has been designated for the I-99 Enterprise Zone for job creation.
Kimmen said because all municipalities are being serviced by the Enterprise Zone has to contribute to keep it “up and running for marketing.”
She said the amount each participating municipality will contribute is based solely on the population of that municipality.
According to a report provided by the township’s Assistant Planning Director Craig T. Soyster, total project funding available is $115,617, the environmental review and delivery costs are $5,000 and $26,475 for administrative costs.
“We picked our projects,” said Kimmen. “Now the public can make their comments. It would then go to the supervisors for approval, possibly at the April meeting.”
She said once the supervisors give their approval, the application for the CBDG money must be approved by the Blair County Board of Commissioners before being mailed to the state.
Kimmen said the four projects were chosen from a list of about eight. Other projects explored included the Rhodes Trailer Court; housing rehabilitation; and the Blair Senior Services Meals-on-Wheels project, which CBDG money is normally allotted, but this year was a year that program had to sit out, thus allowing the extra funding for the scholarship program.
She also said the supervisors would have liked to complete the Fostoria area with sewer and water services, but noted that an income survey of the residents showed that less than a majority of the residents living in that area were above the standard guidelines for CDBG money.