DCED satisfied with Connellsville's handling of CDBG allocations
The Department of Community and Economic Development has dropped an investigation into Connellsville's allocation of block grants to the New Haven Hose Company.
Michael Edwards, Connellsville Redevelopment Authority executive director, received word from the department that the investigation into an inquiry it received from a citizen concerning Community Development Block Grant allocations had been concluded and the agency was satisfied that there was nothing improper about the allocation of $50,000 to New Haven Hose.
The department found all of the moves by council were in line, especially since the city had reduced the allocation.
“There was also not a conflict of interest on the part of the mayor (Charles Matthews),” said Edwards.
The inquiry sent to the department questioned if there was a conflict of interest in allowing Matthews to vote on grants for New Haven since he is a member of the fire department.
“As far as DCED is concerned, the investigation is closed,” said Edwards, reading from the DCED email.
Councilman Gregory Ritch said council backed New Haven Hose Company “100 percent,” adding the volunteers save the city about $1 million annually.
Agency officials were not able to independently confirm the investigation or its results.
Attempts to contact Matthews for comment were not successful.
In August, council revised its allocation for 2013 grant funding as residents voiced their concerns about how the money would be spent.
Council originally planned to allocate $85,000 to New Haven Hose for the purchase of a new $526,000 fire truck.
After city residents expressed their opinions during a public hearing, council changed its plan. Instead of allocating the entire $85,000 for the fire truck, council decided to spend $50,000 on building demolition and to earmark $35,000 for the purchase of the fire truck.
In addition to the $85,000 for the fire truck and building demolition, the remaining CDBG funding was earmarked as follows: $115,000 for the Francis Street storm sewer and road construction project; $15,000 for East Park improvements; and $31,000 for code enforcement.
Council also reallocated grant funding from 2009 through 2012 that had been set aside for demolition of the Aaron's building. Local businessman Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger recently purchased the building for $1.
Instead of spending $23,000 in 2009 funding for building demolition, council reallocated $10,000 for community center improvements and $13,000 for fire equipment for New Haven Hose.
An additional $40,000 in grants from 2010 and $25,000 from the following year were reallocated for the fire truck.
Grants for 2012 were allocated as follows: $7,000 for the fire truck; $35,000 to demolish residential structures; and $31,000 for improvements to East Park and Mountz Creek Park.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Salvation Army kettle campaign begins Friday in Connellsville area
- Owner challenges vacant designation in Connellsville
- Organizations benefit from grants
- RAPTOR program explained in Connellsville
- HObo Model Railroad Club display back in Connellsville
- Judge rules in favor of Seven Springs Mountain Resort over road closure
- Connellsville churches team up for community dinner
- Despite bird flu, it won’t be a turkey-free Thanksgiving
- Fayette twins injured as newborns expected to be adopted by foster mother
- CASD’s Mustache Club lends hand
- Connellsville poster, poetry contest recognizes youths