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Ideas, opinions sought for spending block grant funds in Connellsville

| Friday, July 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Connellsville residents can submit ideas and share opinions about how the city should use federal grant funding at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building.

The city expects to receive at least $300,000 in Community Development Block Grants, which are aimed at helping communities address housing and facility problems and spur economic growth.

“We don't know if Connellsville will get more funds at this point. As of this date, we have not been given an exact amount,” said Michael Edwards, executive director of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, which is holding the meeting.

At the hearing, citizens can comment on how the funds should be used and on the city's prior use of the block grant funds.

Information will be provided at the hearing on the range of eligible projects. The city does not intend to include any activities that could displace anyone, officials said.

So far, no proposals have been submitted, Edwards said.

Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln said replacing sidewalks is a project the city may seek to fund with the block grant money.

He said the city also is seeking clarification on whether grant funds could be used for seed money to start a land bank.

Anyone unable to attend the hearing can mail their written requests for projects to the Mayor and City Council, c/o Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, 124 W. Crawford Ave., Connellsville, Pa., 15425.

All requests should be received by Aug. 1. Proposals should clearly describe the project, provide an estimate of costs and state why the project is important to Connellsville.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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