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Tidoute group explores uses of state grant

The Tidioute Longevity Committee — a community revitalization group — has some money to its name.

The group was awarded funding from the state Community Heart & Soul program, which comes through the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the PA Route 6 Alliance.

“It is really going to help us,” Cindy Paulmier said at Thursday’s meeting at the Tidioute Fire Hall.

She said the TLC will receive $12.5K for two years and added that the award “opens the door for more grant opportunities.” The first part of the funding is expected to be received by the borough next week. The borough will hold the funds for the group but the committee will have control over how they’re spent.

The grant award marks quick growth for the committee, which met for the first time just this January.

“We want to try to promote all the businesses in town,” Paulmier said, noting that the grant emphasizes the history of the community and is the “best thing that could have happen to us.”

She said the funding was designed for Route 6 Corridor communities so the borough’s application must have been impressive.

“This town pulls together when it needs to,” she said.

Brick-and-mortar projects can’t be funded by the grant. It has to be spent on community activities — events that bring people together.

“We hope this revitalization group lasts forever,” Crystal Heenan, the borough office manager said.

She pointed out that the grant and the work of the community isn’t limited to borough residents.

“We want this to be ‘Tidioute area,'” she said.

Paulmier spoke about the importance of “how to get to people… Not everyone wants to come to a meeting. We need to go to the town. We can’t afford to lose anything else. We’ve lost too much.”

The committee discussed several projects that would enhance amenities that already exist — better signage to the boat launch at the base of King St. as well as the need to dredge the area around the launch. The idea of a canoe launch was also discussed.

Heenan pointed out that the Tidioute Overlook needs maintenance as it is overgrown. That’s a U.S. Forest Service site.

The group’s next meeting is April 15th at 6 p.m. with the location TBD as the location will be moved around the community.

“I think we’re off to a good start,” Paulmier said.

The committee aims at this stage to meet — and hold a community event — each month.

One hook for the grant is that the committee likely faces a name change as the state expects “Heart and Soul” to be part of the name.

That new name will be announced at the April 15 meeting.

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