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Antis Township chooses CDBG projects for 2006

At last week’s Antis Township meeting, Craig Soyster was on hand to share information regarding the Pennsylvania Community Development Block Grant Program for the 2006 fiscal year.
Soyster said the grant totaled $126,883 this year with $104,046 available for projects. This amount is what is available for use after administrative costs equaling $22,837 and $5,000 for environment review, which is required.
Several requests were received by the township including one from Blair Senior Service for home care and home delivery of meals, one for the Antis Township Scholarship Program and from ABCD Corporation for economic development including job creation and retention. Both the scholarship program and Blair Senior Services are on three year cycles.
Soyster then presented the proposed projects for Antis Township. The breakdown of the money showed $20,000 set aside for housing rehabilitation and $13,440 for economic development (L.M.I. job creation in the I-99 enterprise zone).
Also, $11,000 is marked for the Antis Township Scholarship Program. Last year the township set aside $8,000 and that amount must increase each year.
A multi-year funded project is planned at Bellwood-Antis Community Park. This year, $54,606 has been allotted for the project.
Soyster explained possible changes include making the park more handicapped accessible. He mentioned paved ramps at the large ballfield and some of the pavilions, handicapped parking, fixing sidewalks and possibly modifying the restrooms.
He also said they could look at a slope zero entrance to the pool. This would make one end of the pool similar to the beach, Soyster said. Individuals would be able to walk right down into the pool.
Supervisor Charles Taylor was concerned about the project being termed “multi-year”.
“If we put in for multi-year funding, can they come back in the second year and say we’re not funding this anymore,” Taylor asked.
Soyster said that’s not possible, “Once we have a contract, it’s locked.”
Supervisor Ray Amato said he knows there is a need for change at the park.
“As president of the Park Authority,” Amato said, “I know there is a need for new walks, and handicapped accessible features. I encourage the board to consider this.”
At this point, Soyster explained these are just the proposed projects and they can be modified in the future.
The board agreed with the proposed plans at this point in time.
A public hearing was held in early December to discuss the CDBG program and a second public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 16 at 4:30 p.m. at the municipal building.
After that, it is expected the Board of Supervisors will approve and sign the CDBG application on Tuesday, March 14.
From there, the Blair County Commissioners will meet the following week on Tuesday, March 21 to approve and sign applications which are due at the Department of Community and Economic Development by Friday, April 7.