Centre County allocates about $238,000 of community development block grant funding to 3 municipalities for water system upgrades

Three Centre County municipalities will be getting water system upgrades through county community development block grant funding.

The Board of Commissioners approved a more than $238,000 allocation combined to Miles Township, Port Matilda and Haines Township at its meeting Tuesday.

Planning Director Bob Jacobs said that money might not be as much as for some other projects around the county, but that for the smaller municipalities, it can make a sizable difference in infrastructure projects.

“When you look at the dollar amounts that are utilized in each of these projects, comparatively speaking it’s not a lot of money, but the impact that it makes on these communities is pretty big,” he said.

The approximately $291,000 total of the grant has been one of the smaller allocations in the past 10 years, but he expects it to remain at about that level next year as well. He said the average for the grant has been about $300,000 to $350,000.

Haines Township is slated to get the most money, $157,000, for a Woodward water main replacement. Jacobs said it includes about 1,000 feet of new lines.

Port Matilda will get about $41,000 for a water meter installation, which Jacobs said could save money down the road. The meter will measure the amount of water coming out of the tank and compare it to the meters in the borough to determine if the numbers match up and if there are any leaks.

The Miles Township allocation, also $41,000, will replace 95 water meters, which are all about 25-30 years old, Jacobs said.

About $53,000 will also be going back into the county planning office for administration of the grant and to offset some staff hours.

Commissioners Chairman Steve Dershem commended the work of the planning staff by going out and getting money for some of the smaller municipalities. He said those municipalities might not have been able to afford some of the projects had they not received the CDBG funding.

Overall, the county has been able to fund about 140 projects with $9 million in CDBG funding and an additional $8 million through competitive grants, Jacobs said.

“Spread out over the county for the last 20 years, it makes a big impact,” he said.