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Lemont Streetscape Funding Denied Again

by and on June 17, 2017 5:00 AM

College Township may have whiffed on its first two swings trying to secure funding for a streetscape and traffic calming project in Lemont, but according to manager Adam Brumbaugh, the next pitch should be smacked out of the park.

Recently, the township was made aware it was not selected for inclusion in the first round of a multimodal grant offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In December, the township was denied a $1.15 million grant from the Commonwealth Finance Authority.

“It’s been disappointing, that’s for sure,” said Brumbaugh in an interview with Centre County Gazette. “We were disappointed when we weren’t awarded funding in December, and we were disappointed we weren’t included in this round of funding. But, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m pretty confident we’ll get the funding during the next round of grant awards.”

Brumbaugh said although the township was denied the funding, he noted that people close to the funding source said it would most likely be awarded during the next round of grant awards, which will occur later this year.

“Our chances are pretty good I think,” Brumbaugh said. “We’re still working on different aspects of the projects, such as the engineering. There are still lots of things to do.”

The plan calls for parallel parking and sidewalks on both sides of Pike Street, crosswalks and tree removal and replacement. The work on Pike would run from Elmwood Street to Dale Street.

The project, first proposed more than three years ago, aims to slow traffic and make downtown Lemont more pedestrian-friendly.

Brumbaugh has estimated the cost of the project at about $1.6 million. In addition to grant money, about $450,000 would come from local funds.

Dick Stever, owner of Mayes Memorials on Pike Street, said it is an ill-advised project and a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

“If this is such a good project, why doesn’t the township fund the project itself rather than going out and getting grant money?” said Stever. “How does getting a grant, paid for by taxpayers, make it a better project? It’s not.”

Stever said the proposed project would limit parking opportunities along the busy section of roadway that runs through the community. He said it also would cause traffic to flow more freely, thus decreasing the chance a passing motorist would stop to do business.

“I just think it’s a project that’s going to hurt Lemont,” said Stever.

Brumbaugh said should the township receive funding during the next round of grant awards, construction could begin as early as 2018 with a project completion date in 2019.

 



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.



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