The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 4, 2013

Sunbury considers 10 ways to allocate its $300,000 grant

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — The city has held its first public hearing to discuss how it will use $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds en route in 2013, and has developed a list of 10 projects.

Jamie Shrawder, community development manager for SEDA-Council of Governments, Lewisburg, is assisting council members in determining which projects would be eligible.

The grant could be used to build riverfront curbs and sidewalks and a Wolverton Street bikeway extension, and upgrade Sunbury’s parks.

Included in the list is $74,000 for the Redevelopment Authority to continue razing blighted properties.

Riverfront curbs and sidewalks would cost $200,000, Shrawder said at Monday’s public meeting at City Hall.

“These all can’t be done, but we have time to discuss which ones we really want to focus on,” she said. “That’s why we hold these public meetings. We want to get input from residents and council.”

Seventy percent of money spent must benefit moderate- to low-income residents and have to be for the good of the city, Shrawder said.

Curbs and sidewalks are also being considered on North Third Street between Reagan and Packer streets.

The city has an approved sidewalk program and could allocate additional funds to that project. Only income-eligible residents who own and occupy properties on North Third Street would receive grant assistance, Shrawder said.

Fixing recreational parks in the city is another goal Sunbury Mayor David Persing has in mind because he listed the basketball courts at the Persing Recreation Complex and at the Oppenheimer Pleasure Grounds, on North Second Street, as needing repairs. Recreational projects are eligible as long as they are not for maintenance, Shrawder said.

Placing basketball courts at the Persing Complex is also eligible, but Shrawder advised council to allocate funds so that the project isn’t halted during construction.

Council will select one or more projects on Feb. 25. A final public hearing will be held March 25 and at that council meeting projects will be approved.

All hearings will be held on the second floor of City Hall before council meets.