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Penn-Trafford rec commission drops fee for grant services

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission no longer will charge its member communities an administrative fee for its director's grant-writing services.

With PTARC's fund balance up to $72,429 as of late September, board member Nick Petrucci recommended last week that the organization rescind the fee for municipalities seeking recreation grants. Petrucci said he originally supported the fee when PTARC had a “four-digit” general account balance but that the organization now could afford to eliminate the fee.

On Oct. 7, the board voted 5-1, with Larry Harrison casting the only vote against.

Though none of the PTARC-member municipalities ended up paying the fee, Petrucci said he thought the cost was a problem for small communities, like Trafford, where he also serves on the borough's recreation board. Trafford Council decided to have the borough manager complete the application for a $250,000 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a proposed Westmoreland Park improvement project.

PTARC board members previously passed a 5-percent administrative fee on grants funded by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or DCNR. In April, they added a 2.5-percent fee on successful grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, which administers the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Board Chairman Randy Dreistadt said those involved in the creation of PTARC decided it was important to have a director with grant-writing skills to aid municipalities in getting funding for projects.

The fees were installed because there was a concern that too much time on grants would take away from her daily managing of recreation programs, he said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at cforeman@tribweb.com.

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