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Council authorized filing for Home Town Streets funding

| Saturday, July 30, 2005

FORD CITY -- An initiative offered through the state's Department of Transportation to improve town centers may be the answer to revitalizing Ford Street and the Ford City business district, borough officials have agreed.

When the cost for the Ford Street Project, a project to provide new brick-lined streets, sidewalks, ramps, street lights and underground utilities, exceeded available funds, borough officials turned to the state's Home Town Streets and Safe Routes to School program for help.

The state program is designed to improve the quality of life for citizens and boost the economy in the course of rebuilding the state by restoring town squares.

Gov. Ed Rendell announced the four-year, $200 million program in 2004 as part of his Growing Greener Initiative.

Borough council approved applying for Home Town Streets funds at a special public meeting on Thursday.

"Our project is made to order for that program," Councilman John Rudosky said. "The infrastructure development and components with our business district is a good fit.

"It's where we can get the biggest bang for our buck and do the project correctly. This is a good program that can help our business people."

The borough will meet with Armstrong County planning officials to submit the application.

County and local officials have to decide how much to apply for through the program.

At a public meeting on July 11, $1 million was mentioned as a possible amount for the application.

The money would be added to the nearly $400,000 the borough has in place to complete the project.

Rudosky said the borough would know if it qualifies for the Home Town Streets funding in three to six months.

"We want to get this project done soon. We hope it's not five years from now," Rudosky said.

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