Centre supports grant application for recreation
By JAIMEE KESTER
BELLEFONTE – A proposed pathway that would connect Bellefonte to Milesburg is closer to becoming a reality as the final stages of the grant application are underway.
The Centre County Commissioners approved a resolution for the Greenways Trails and Recreation Program Grant (GTRP) in the amount of $80,750 on Tuesday, following Bellefonte Borough Council’s approval on Monday.
At the borough council meeting the board committed $10,000 toward the 15 percent matching fund ($14, 250) that is necessary to secure the GTRP grant. This grant program is run through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. If awarded, the grant would fund a feasibility study/master plan of the proposed trail, with construction of the trail taking place around 2020.
“There certainly are challenges,” said Mike Bloom of the Centre County Community Development office. “But that’s why we need this step, to see what the challenges are out there.”
Commissioner Mark Higgins said after the borough signed its letter of commitment, 20 letters were sent out asking local businesses to pledge the remaining $4,250 needed for the grant application. As of Tuesday morning he said they already received four letters of support with donations totaling about $3,000.
There is a huge nationwide and statewide push for trails like the one proposed in Bellefonte. Besides the obvious health benefits, there are possible economic benefits due to increased traffic in downtown areas, and benefits to real estate values.
“If you look at the historic aspect of this, people walked from Bellefonte to Milesburg all the time,” said Bellefonte resident Jack Schuster, who is an advocate of the trail. “We would really be doing something that was once done.”
In other business, the commissioners:
r Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the County and various partners including the Court of Common Pleas, Centre County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, District Attorney, Public Defender and several other entities for the Centre County Specialty Court Viability Assessment Project as part of an application for Federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Funding which is being submitted by the county. The grant period is January 1 to December 31, 2017.
r Approved a contract addendum between the county and Tyler Technologies for a standard annual software maintenance agreement for the Mobile component of the new Computer Aided Dispatch in a total of $89, 563 for the period of June 30, 2016 to June 29, 2020.
r Approved a contract addendum between the county and Tyler Technologies for a standard annual software maintenance agreement for the Mobile component of the new Computer Aided Dispatch in a total of $232, 944 for the period of June 30, 2016 to June 29, 2020.
r Accepted an application from Centre Hall Borough in the amount of $10,000 for resurfacing projects.
r Approved the appointment of Cindey Sergeon to the Drug and Alcohol Planning Council, the re-appointment of DeeAnn Patterson and Terry Loring to the Drug and Alcohol Planning Council, and the resignation of Jeanne Knouse from the Drug and Alcohol planning council.
r Approved a check run in the amount of $800, 672.39.
r Approved a contract renewal between the county and the Center for Alternatives to Community Justice (CACJ) to provide a pre-release program for eligible defendants currently incarcerated for a total of $64,225 with the source of funding as follows: courts $32,112.50; prison: $32,112.50, for the period July1 to December 31, 2016.
r Approved a contract renewal between the county and Community Connections of Clearfield-Jefferson counties to provide shared ride transportation as requested at the rate of $18.90 per trip for the period of June 21, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
r Approved a grant agreement between the county and the Pa. Department of Agriculture for the 2016-17 Emergency Food Assistance Program and State Food Purchase Program. This grant allocates state funding to Central Pa. Community Action. Estimated total is $87, 524 with 100 percent state funding for the period of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
r Approved a contract between the county and Wacor Electronic Systems Inc., to provide a security system for Temple Court Building for a total of $$108, 482.84.
r Approved a grant application to PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency for Byrne JAG funds in the amount of $24, 400 to engage a consultant to assist the county in determining the viability of creating a specialty court.
r Approved a contract renewal between the county and Vigilant Security to upgrade and expand emergency button system for the State College MDJ Office in total of $2,238.95 for the period of July 1 to December 31, 2016.
r Approved the in-kind purchase between the county and the Pennsylvania State University for a 2012-Chevrolet Malibu sedan for the probation department at a cost of $9,900.