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City to hold hearing on CDBG uses

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Connellsville proposes to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development requesting $300,000 under the 2013 Pennsylvania CDBG Program.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority will hold a public hearing to discuss proposed uses for the funding as well as revisions/modification for CDBG funds for 2009 through 2012.

The application must be submitted to the DCED before Sept. 6.

The city is also proposing to revise/modify its uses for CDBG funds for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The request for the 2013 CDBG funds includes $115,000 for storm sewer and road reconstruction along Francis Avenue; $85,000 to help pay off a fire truck for New Haven Hose Co.; $15,000 for improvements to East Park and $31,000 for code enforcement.

Michael Edwards, executive director of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, said projects are divided into categories like housing, economic development, community development and public service.

“We will submit the application for 2013 to the state. They will review them and we expect it to be sometime next year when they'll release the funds,” Edwards said.

From 2009 to 2012, the city had earmarked portions of CDBG money to demolish the Aaron's Building. The building was recently purchased by local businessman Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger, who plans to restore the structure. That means plans to demolish the structure are cancelled. That means those funds were freed up.

“Council talked and decided that they wanted to reallocate those funds,” Edwards said.

There was $162,700 in CDBG money from 2009 to 2012 and city council wants to use those funds for the following projects:

• 2009 funds: $10,000 for Connellsville Community Center improvements and $13,000 for paying off the fire truck for New Haven Hose Co.

• 2010 funds: $41,700 for paying off the fire truck for New Haven Hose Co.

• 2011 funds: $25,000 for paying off the fire truck for New Haven Hose Co.

• 2012 funds: $5,300 for paying off the fire truck for New Haven Hose Co.; $35,000 for the demolition of residential properties that are deemed to be unfit for human habitation or unsafe; and $32,700 for improvements to East Park.

As a requirement to reallocate CDBG money that has already been rewarded for other projects, Edwards said a public hearing must be held.

At Wednesday's hearing, the public will get to voice their opinion on the proposed 2013 application and the revisions/modifications for the projects for 2009 through 2012.

Following the public hearing, city council will hold its regular meeting where it will vote and make the final decision on what projects will be done.

If special accommodations are needed for anyone with disabilities who intend to attend the public hearing, they can contact the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority at 724-626-1645.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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