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Penn-Trafford rec board establishes new grant-writing fee

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission will charge municipalities a 2.5-percent administrative fee on successful grant applications that it submits on their behalf to a new state Department of Community and Economic Development authority.

The fee will cover PTARC Director Cheryl Kemerer's grant-writing, organization and management services on behalf of Penn-Trafford area communities that choose to apply to the department's Commonwealth Financing Authority. State officials estimate that $14 million will be available from drilling-impact fees for recreation, greenway, trail, watershed, well or beautification projects.

PTARC board members previously passed a 5-percent administrative fee on grants funded by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or DCNR. The action they took on Monday for the new grant program did not address the fee on DCNR grants.

Board member Nick Petrucci said the previous fee was imposed when PTARC was in a more desperate financial state, but officials have said the organization's money flow has improved this year, partly because program registrations are up through the first three months.

Board member said Toni Ising a 2.5-percent fee is “not as much of a financial stress” on communities.

Trafford would have been the first municipality to pay the 5-percent fee after receiving a $45,000 DCNR grant last year to cover half of the cost of a skate park at B-Y Park, but it borough council decided to scrap the project and reject the grant.

Under the Commonwealth Financing Authority terms, projects can cost up to $250,000.

Penn Township is eligible for a 50-percent match, while communities under 5,000 residents — such as Trafford, Manor and Penn Borough — must pay a 20-percent match.

The Trafford Recreation Board already has shown interest in applying for a grant for improvements at Fairmont Park and renovations to the B-Y Park restrooms.

Pool cleaner

Board members agreed to pledge $500 toward the Penn-Trafford School District's purchase of a new robotic pool cleaner at the high school pool.

School officials, who estimated the cost to be $2,300, requested assistance from some community organizations that use the pool because the equipment was not budgeted this year.

Kemerer said Friends of PTARC offered to match any pledge by PTARC.

Car cruise

PTARC's annual car cruise on May 5 at Penn Borough Park will have a Cinco de Mayo theme featuring Mexican food.

Board President Randy Dreistadt, who also serves as Penn Borough Council president, said construction on the Coal Street bridge in Penn is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The show is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. The car registration fee is $5.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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