DUBOIS – The Sandy Township Supervisors last night discussed the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding that was awarded to the township.
This year, the township was awarded $156,959 from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the usual limitations as in previous years.
A municipality can only use up to 18 percent for administrative-related expenses. There are also three categories under which CDBG funding can be used, including:
- to help low- to moderate-income individuals (LMI). A wide-scale project is only eligible if 51 percent of the affected individuals are LMI.
- to remove blight. However, it was noted that this is capped at 30 percent of the CDBG allocation.
- for urgent need.
Once awarded, the funds must be used or returned to the commonwealth after five years. The first and final years involve administrative work, leaving three years to expend funds on projects.
During the first public hearing last night, the supervisors discussed work on Platt Road’s sanitation sewage system.
According to Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh, Platt Road had been discussed as a CDBG project in the past. At the time, he said the estimate was too high for the use of CDBG funding alone.
He said the total cost was estimated at $2.5 million because a pump station would be necessary. He said they were investigating funding options beyond CDBG.
The supervisors said a second public hearing will be held Sept. 16 to discuss the usage of the township’s funds.
Sandy Township Building Inspector/General Manager of PennSafe Building Inspection Services Bill Kulbacki recommended the demolition of nine buildings in the township.
The supervisors spent the most time discussing a Tozier Avenue residence that possibly hasn’t been lived in since sometime in 1999 or 2000.
The supervisors described the home as having parts of its ceilings collapsing into the lower floors, as appearing as though its infested with mold and having broken windows.
The supervisors said there was also evidence that the residence’s foundation was beginning to collapse. This, they said, had started to pull the neighbor’s driveway away from that home.
Arbaugh said the township has tracked down the property owners. However, they indicated that they had stopped payment on the home in 1999 or 2000 before they moved and their lender proceeded with foreclosure.
The lender, he said was then bought out by a Chicago-based financial service. After this, he said the trail of confirmable ownership “went cold.”
According to Arbaugh, letters have been mailed out that would require action within 30 days and an indication of efforts to rehabilitate the blighted properties. If there isn’t an adequate response, the township will proceed with demolition efforts.
In other business last night, Arbaugh announced there will be a meeting with DuBois City on Wednesday to discuss the joint sewage authority agreement and to answer questions from city officials.
Arbaugh also presented the supervisors with the tentative designs for the new municipal building that Sandy Township is looking to construct.