The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 9, 2013

3 boroughs, rec group apply for $1.4M in grants

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Three Valley municipalities and a recreation authority have applied for more than $1.4 million in funding to create spaces for alternative transportation through a federal program aimed at “creating cultural, natural and scenic” transportation projects.

Milton, Northumberland, Selinsgrove and the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority all applied for Transportation Alternatives Program grants, which will be distributed through the SEDA-Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Planning Organization, according to SEDA-COG. A fifth application was received from Lock Haven.

The proposals include a number of ideas from communities looking to provide upgrades to local transportation projects, said Steve Kusheloff, manager of public information at SEDA-COG.

Project selection is slated for May 20. The Metropolitan Planning Organization will make the final decision.

The borough of Selinsgrove applied for $402,500 in TAP funds to extend ornamental lighting fixtures through North Market Street, borough manager Paul Williams said.

“In the downtown central business district, we already have a number of ornamental street lights in addition to what we have as far as the larger overhead PPL street lights,” he said. “These are more of an ornament and provide nice ascetics for the borough. The proposal through the TAP grant is to provide more of those, and we’re focusing on the area of North Market Street.”

The borough already has $60,000 in funding from the Selinsgrove Chamber of Commerce to assist in engineering and design costs not covered by the TAP grant, Williams said.

Northumberland has applied for more than $91,000 to help build a walking path on top of an erosion barrier planned for the riverfront between Routes 11 and 147, according to Ann August, borough clerk.

“We though this would be a great opportunity to put a walking path on top of that barrier,” she said. “Because of the way the ground is now, it would be hard to put a path there.”

Construction on the barrier is planned for this fall, August said. The borough also applied for funding from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the project, which has $120,910 in local funds available.

“We’re trying to find the money, period,” she said.

Milton applied for $495,250 in TAP funds with plans including the construction of facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, according to SEDA-COG. The total proposed project cost is $690,250, including local funds.

The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority has applied for $485,300 in funds to continue the expansion of the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail, mainly a section from North Fifth Street east to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg. St. John Street occupies the former West Shore Railroad right-of-way.