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Ridge Administration Announces Support for Municipalities; $203,700 to Fund Intergovernmental Cooperation and Local Government Capital Projects in 11 Counties.

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, Community and Economic Development Secretary Sam McCullough today announced the approval of $203,700 in state grants and low-interest loans to support intergovernmental cooperation and capital projects in 11 municipalities across Pennsylvania.

"The Ridge Administration is partnering with local governments across the Commonwealth to build stronger communities and deliver essential programs and services more efficiently and effectively," McCullough said.

The Shared Municipal Services grants and low-interest Local Government Capital Project loans are administered by the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, created by Ridge in 1996 to better serve the needs of Pennsylvania's 2,569 local governments.

The Shared Municipal Services grant program awards grants to two or more local governments cooperating to undertake municipal tasks in a more effective, cost-efficient manner.

The Local Government Capital Project loan program provides municipalities with populations under 12,000 with low-interest loans at 2-percent interest for up to 10 years for capital construction, improvements and equipment purchases.

Facility loans may be used for the purchase, construction or rehabilitation of municipal facilities. Maximum facility loans are $50,000 or 50 percent of the project cost, whichever is less.

Equipment loans may be used to purchase cars, trucks, backhoes, lifts and other vehicles and equipment, as well as computer equipment. Maximum equipment loans are $25,000 or 50 percent of the cost of the purchase, whichever is less.

Projects involving the health, safety or welfare of community residents, intergovernmental cooperation, or benefiting financially disadvantaged municipalities are given priority.

The following grants were approved:

Allegheny County:

The Steel Valley Council of Governments was awarded two grants totaling $25,000. A $15,000 grant will be used to provide regional code-enforcement administration for member municipalities, including the City of Clairton, and Forest Hills, Homestead, Munhall, North Braddock, Rankin and Whitaker boroughs.

A second $10,000 grant will be used to continue a project which provides professional financial, administrative and planning services to municipalities which do not have the financial ability to provide these services on an individual basis. Participating municipalities include Braddock Hills, Homestead, Munhall and Whitaker boroughs.

Blair County:

The Blair County Cooperative was awarded a $5,000 grant to implement an equipment-rental program which will include a detailed survey of all available municipal equipment, a rental-rate policy, operating procedures and the coordination of a rental schedule. Participants include Blair County; the City of Altoona; Bellwood, Hollidaysburg, Martinsburg and Tyrone boroughs; and Freedom and Logan townships.

Bucks County:

The Pennridge Area Coordinating Committee was awarded a $4,000 grant to prepare a plan for the development of a coordinated greenway trail system throughout the eight municipalities in the Pennridge School District. Participating municipalities include Bedminster, Hilltown and East and West Rockhill townships, and Dublin, Perkasie, Sellersville and Silverdale boroughs.

Columbia County:

Hemlock Township was awarded a $25,000 loan to purchase a dump truck and snow plow to assist with snow removal and year-round road-maintenance activities on its 40 miles of roads.

Huntingdon County:

Huntingdon County was awarded a $15,000 grant to implement a countywide program that includes the development of a map book, a county road map, and an analysis of the feasibility of online mapping for 911 emergency services for 21 participating municipalities; the county; and several non-profit organizations, including the Greater Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce, the Raystown Country Visitors Bureau and Huntingdon County Business and Industry Inc.

Participating municipalities include Cassville, Huntingdon, Marklesburg, Mount Union and Shade Gap boroughs, and Barree, Brady, Cass, Clay, Dublin, Franklin, Hopewell, Jackson, Lincoln, Miller, Oneida, Penn, Smithfield, Springfield, Warriors Mark and West townships.

Indiana County:

Pine Township was awarded a $25,000 loan to purchase a dump truck, snow plow and spreaders to assist with snow removal and year-round road-maintenance activities on the township's 27 miles of roads.

Luzerne County:

Bear Creek Village Borough was awarded a $25,000 loan for construction of a salt and cinder storage facility.

Luzerne County was awarded a $30,000 grant to implement a countywide Police Intelligence and Analysis Unit coordinated by the county sheriff's office for 28 municipalities. The project involves the purchase of computer equipment, retention of four intelligence officers, use of a secured county- or municipally owned building, and development of a two-way communication system, in conjunction with the 28 local police departments, for the collection and analysis of crime data and dissemination of analyzed intelligence information.

Participating municipalities include the cities of Nanticoke, Pittston and Wilkes-Barre; the municipality of Kingston; Ashley, Avoca, Dallas, Duryea, Dupont, Edwardsville, Exeter, Freeland, Hughstown, Larksville, Laflin, Luzerne, Pringle, Shickshinny, Swoyersville, West Hazleton and Warrior Run boroughs; and Butler, Kingston, Lake, Plains, Plymouth, Rice and Sugarloaf townships.

Union County:

The Union County Housing Authority was awarded a $14,400 grant to expand its existing building-codes enforcement program into three additional municipalities. The program currently provides comprehensive code-enforcement services for seven municipalities.

The project involves the purchase of two new computers, two digital cameras, two global-positioning units, two mobile-recording units and a scanner to increase the productivity of code-enforcement officers in the field and to provide greater accuracy in recording field information.

The office computers will be networked with the county's geographic information system to improve public safety by more accurately identifying properties in participating municipalities. Participating municipalities include Harleton, Lewisburg, Mifflinburg and New Berlin boroughs, and East Buffalo, Gregg, Lewis and West Buffalo townships.

Venango County:

Pine Grove Township was awarded a $25,000 loan to purchase a dump truck and snow plow to assist with snow removal and year-round road-maintenance activities.

Washington County:

The RESA Regional Police Department was awarded a $5,800 grant to provide a law-enforcement management program to assist a regional police department providing public-safety services to Roscoe, Elco, Allenport, Dunlevy, Long Branch, Stockdale and Twilight boroughs.

The project includes purchasing and implementing the Automated Law Enforcement Tracking System to more effectively manage police records and combat crime in the seven participating municipalities.

Westmoreland County:

The Central Westmoreland Council of Governments was awarded a $4,500 grant to establish a permanent Internet website and e-mail system to electronically link member municipalities and improve communications and access to information.

Areas addressed by the system include joint purchasing; shared personnel and equipment; training programs; community events and news; municipal government issues and actions; and resident and taxpayer inquiries.

Participating municipalities include Westmoreland County; the city of Jeanette; Adamsburg, Irwin, Ligonier, Manor, Mount Pleasant, North Belle Vernon, North Irwin, Penn, Scottdale, South Greensburg, Trafford, West Newton and Youngwood boroughs; and Allegheny, Mount Pleasant, North Huntingdon, Penn and Sewickley townships.

For more information on the Local Government Capital Project Loan or Shared Municipal Services programs, or other services provided by the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, contact the center toll-free at 1-888-2CENTER.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1998
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