Delmont council seeking grants to make Shields Farm upgrades | TribLIVE
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Delmont council seeking grants to make Shields Farm upgrades

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 11:45 p.m.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Tractors move about the event area during the 2017 Delmont Apple 'n Arts Festival at Shields Farm in Delmont, Pa. on Saturday Oct. 07, 2017.

Delmont Councilman David Piper is making the most of his work on the borough's grants committee, seeking funding that could potentially go toward electrical upgrades and drainage work at the Shields Farm property where several major events take place each year.

"The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County is making grants available from $2,000 to $40,000, and they don't require a formal plan as part of the application," Piper said.

Piper said he has spoken with several community groups to brainstorm ideas for potential projects.

"The kind of grants they're looking to award are those where a lot of groups are joining together," he said.

One idea is an electrical upgrade at the Shields Farm property, as well as the installation of permanent, handicap-accessible restrooms.

"Right now we have three events there — the Apple 'n Arts Festival, the (Christmas in Salem Crossroads) Pilgrimage and the car show," said council President Andrew Shissler. "It would be very nice to have full restrooms up there."

Shissler added that with the number of vendors at events like Apple 'n Arts increasing each year, an electrical upgrade also would be a worthwhile pursuit.

The borough is also competing for a Westmoreland Conservation District grant to help redirect storm water runoff at Shields Farm.

"It's designed to slow water down by getting it into these trenches filled with stones and gravel, before it goes to the culvert," public works head Bill Heaps said.

Solicitor Dan Hewitt added that the proposed project is also designed to promote groundwater recharge.

Piper said the only hitch with the WCD grant is that, if it is awarded to the borough, the work must be completed in 2018.

"I think Delmont has a really good chance of pulling this off," he said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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