Renovo council opposes cutting CDBG program

RENOVO — National politics came to the forefront of the Renovo council meeting this week as council agreed to send a letter to support the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) in opposition of the proposed 2017-18 federal budget and funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of the CDBG program.

CDBG is a federally-funded grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has provided funds to counties and communities for more than four decades according to the PSAB.

And CDBG monies have been crucial to the revitalization to the Renovo area over the past decade.

Council President Ann Tarantella said that going back to the Erie Avenue project to this June’s planned 11th Street paving upgrade, CDBG funds have always been necessary to see the projects through.

Should the proposed budget pass with the cuts to the program, progress to Renovo would likely slow to a crawl, she said.

No council member verbally objected to council secretary Marsha Davis sending a letter to the PSAB in opposition to the cuts. Overall, the program received $3 billion in funding for the 2016-17 budget.

In other business Wednesday night, council agreed to seek advice from PennDOT with speeding vehicles that enter Renovo from Route 120 traveling west near Yesterday’s Hotel and Restaurant.

A concerned resident was on hand and said he can observe motorists, particularly large trucks, entering Renovo all hours of the day and night at an excessive rate of speed.

Several council members acknowledged that speed of vehicles at the corner was an issue.

Since Route 120 is a state highway, council hopes that PennDOT can at least offer advice, if not help resolve the issue.

Robert Ohl attended the meeting as a surveyor to the Episcopal Church on Third Street at St. Claire Avenue.

The church is closing and Ohl wanted to discuss the particulars of moving forward with a sale of the property.

It was noted that the part of the church that acts as a food bank to the Renovo area is being donated to the council of churches, and the sale will not include that part of the property.