Centre County seeks grant money for water projects

Centre County is looking to pay for water-related projects in Haines and Miles Township and in Port Matilda with nearly $300,000 of Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Grant program money.

The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at its meeting Tuesday authorizing the submission of the grant application to the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

The size of the grant is $291,430 with $157,000 going toward a water main replacement in Haines Township; $41,000 to Miles Township for the purchase of a water meter; $40,943 to Port Matilda for a water system master meter installation; and $51,457 to be set aside for grant administration.

“Over a number of years, community infrastructure has been the primary focus of the Community Development Block Grant funding, at least here in Centre County,” Chairman Steve Dershem said.

The funding uses for the grant must cover three categories with the primary focus being on low- to moderate-income areas, Senior Planner Matt Milliron said. The other two categories are slum and blight and urgent or critical needs.

At least 70 percent of the funding allocation is required to go toward the low- to moderate-income areas, but Milliron said Centre County typically allocates 100 percent of the funding to those areas.

To receive the money, the board was required to adopt an excessive force policy to protect residents engaging in non-violent civil rights demonstrations. Milliron said it’s a policy that the county has signed off on every year, but this updates it and makes it more official.

The policy enforces local and state laws against barring of an entrance to or exit from a facility which is the subject of non-violent civil rights demonstrations.

The county will work with the sheriff’s office to implement the policy.

“There are probably 50 counties adopting an excessive force policy this week,” Milliron said.