CDBG funds to support new elderly housing

LOCK HAVEN — The Clinton County Commissioners on Thursday selected the proposed elderly housing project in Flemington to receive the county’s 2017 Community Block Grant funds of $182,859.

The remainder of the $200,000 pledged by the county for construction of Susquehannock Heights will come from the county’s affordable housing fund, the commissioners said.

SEDA-COG (Susquehanna Economic Development Association — Council of Governments) is the project developer for the proposed 32 rental units of elderly housing planned in the undeveloped wooded section between the county housing units and the bottom of Wright Street, roughly behind the Seventh Day Adventist church.

The county’s total CDBG funding for 2017 is $222,988. The county has designated the usual 18 percent for administration of the funding, which is allowed under the grant program. This leaves $182,859.

The commissioners talked about two other projects they felt strongly about among the eight applications submitted for CDBG money — Booneville Water System and the Rails-to-Trails project.

Should the housing project not go through, the funds could go to those two projects or others on the list of applicants, said Katie de Silva, county planner. “We don’t lose the money,” she said. And those projects can be resubmitted next year, she said.

Two other items on the agenda dealt with CDBG money.

Unanimous approval was given for the reallocation of 2015 CDBG funds in the amount of $22,470 from the Renovo Water Authority’s Ninth Street water main replacement project to the STEP Inc. Owner-Occupied Home Rehabilitation Project. De Silva said the water main project came in under budget and the money must be spent on an open project within three years.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a subrecipient agreement with Renovo Borough for funding under the 2016 CDBG program in the amount of $80,000 for the Eleventh Street Rehabilitation Project, effective Oct. 1, 2017 through April 1, 2019. This project was approved last year after the senior housing project was delayed, and it will be bid right away, de Silva said.

An agreement with R.C. Bowman Inc. for grading and compaction of the Clinton County Rail Trail, in the amount of $8,655, was approved, with completion of the project by Oct. 20. The money will come from the Act 13 recreation fund. This work includes filling potholes, grading and rolling the trail. The county will provide the stones.

Also approved was an agreement with FMP Inc. for installing a French drain system on the rail trail in the amount of $4,900. This money will also come out of the recreation fund, the commissioners said.

Approval was given for a change order in the amount of $23,571 with Enginuity LLC for the Clinton County Correctional Facility renovations project.

The commissioners said they’ve been aware that more things would need to be addressed once the project was started and change orders would be necessary. Bids came in about $400,000 less than expected, so there is money there to cover these items, which include putting bars across openings in the roof and replacing corroded piping, said Commissioner Jeff Snyder, chairman of the Prison Board.

Personnel actions approved included hiring six correctional officers, termination of two correctional officers, and temporary promotions of two prison employees due to the recent resignation of Deputy Warden for Custody Susan Watt.

Jason Kormanic was promoted from staff compliance and development coordinator to acting deputy warden for custody, effective this past Wednesday, at a salary of $46,325.

Noreen Simpson was promoted from correctional officer to acting staff compliance development coordinator, starting Monday, at a salary of $44,119.

The commissioners approved the termination of Michelle Tice, part-time correctional officer, and Quaid Richart, full-time correctional officer, effective Sept. 18 and Sept. 19, respectively.

Six correctional officers were hired. They are Matthew Marshall, Sean Winter, Annette Sementelli, Alan Hicks, Kelsey Kerstetter and Kevin Terre-Blanche, to start Monday. Their salaries are $28,891.

As has been the norm at the prison for years, the commissioners noted the trend continues of correctional officers leaving the county facility after receiving training there, to take better-paying jobs in state and federal prisons.

Commissioner Jeff Snyder said the county can’t pay them what they are paid at the state and federal facilities… and they have to be trained when they are hired. He noted the recent opening of the county’s training center in Flemington which will allow some training to be done locally, thus decreasing the cost to the county.