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Latrobe panel considers helping to fund community improvement projects

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

The Latrobe Industrial Development Authority is looking to spend some of the $32,000 it has accumulated over the years for worthwhile community improvement projects, the authority said Tuesday.

The amount of money that the agency will allocate for projects was not determined at a special meeting, but Anita Manoli, authority board chairwoman, said the issue will be raised at a June meeting, as well as perhaps some ideas for potential projects.

Any money the authority allocates should be for projects that serve a public purpose, such as infrastructure improvements made by governments or nonprofits, said Daniel Hudock, authority solicitor.

The authority cannot fully fund projects, but would be in a position to help finance part of a project, said Joseph Dietrick, an authority board member.

One of those projects could be the ongoing streetscape project along Lloyd Avenue, which involved laying a new sidewalk, planting flowering trees and installing decorative lighting along the 400 block. Latrobe officials want to extend the Lloyd Avenue beautification project closer to the city's downtown.

The authority might be able to provide money for one stage of the project, but not the entire work, said Charles Dominick, an authority board member.

Thomas Sylvester, an authority board member, said it would be beneficial to get information about three or four potential projects. It would not be appropriate to provide nonprofit social service agencies money to fund services, when more money would be needed the next month for the same work.

Dominick suggested looking “beyond the city limit,” for projects that would benefit Latrobe residents, Dominick said.

The bulk of the money in the authority's coffers is in a $26,375 certificate of deposit at Commercial National Bank, according to the authority's financial report. The 12-month certificate was renewed in September 2012.

The authority generates revenue from the $1,000 it charges for serving as a conduit for government and private financing of projects, Hudock said.

In April, the authority received $1,000 from St. Vincent College in Unity for assisting in financing improvements to dormitories at the college, Hudock said. The authority is paid after the financial arrangements are completed, Hudock said.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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