County looking at projects to spend 2017 grant funds

Warren County has a couple hundred thousand to spend.

And they’ve solicited local officials for project ideas.

Held in conjunction with last week’s Warren County Commissioner regular meeting, a public hearing was held regarding the county’s 2017 allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

Lorri Dunlap, the county’s grant administrator, said that $225,057 was received for fiscal year 2017.

She explained that there are many things that can be done with the money – street repairs, sidewalk repairs, sewer line work and demolition of blighted property to name a few – but that the funds have to benefit low- to moderate-income people.

“It’s fairly broad,” she said. “The state looks at if the project is fundable (and) benefits who it is supposed to benefit, how many are going to benefit. (They) want us to get bang for our buck.”

Dunlap said she has contacted the county’s municipalities as well as non-profit organizations to solicit projects.

She said the allocation has held “fairly steady for the last few years” and the amount is “pretty close to what we had last year.”

The allocation, Dunlap explained, is a set amount based on Warren County’s status as a sixth-class county.

Recent prior projects included street reconstruction in Eldred Township as well as sewer line work. She said that the most recent allocation will address housing rehabilitation in Youngsville as well as additional water line work in Sheffield.

She said the funding “is well appreciate money by all the municipalities that receive it.”

A second public hearing will be held once proposals are received and the final allocation authority rests with the Warren County Commissioners.