ROARING BROOK –Discussion over sponsorship of the North Pocono Trails Association came up at March's township meeting.
Debbie Bertha spoke at the meeting to supervisors about the need for municipal sponsorship on their grant application. In previous years, Moscow Borough had been a sponsor.
The Association received $4,000 from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
This year, they reached out to Roaring Brook. The anticipated work includes signage along a three mile long portion from Market Street to Yedinak Lane. Bertha stated that half of the trail is in Roaring Brook, with portions in Moscow and Madison township.
“We're looking to the future,” said Bertha. “If we want to do any more work on the trail, we've been advised that we need a master plan or some kind of engineering studies. So we would appreciate your consideration.”
Sponsorship would require no monetary donation on the part of the township. The Trails Association simply required someone with nonprofit or municipal status to obtain the grant.
The association is currently seeking grant funds through the Environmental Council or the Pennsylvania American Water Company.
Supervisors invited the Trails Association to their next work session to discuss further, though things looked favorable since there would be no out of pocket cost to the township.
The North Pocono Trails association was formed in 2009 to collaborate with local municipalities and community-minded groups to create a system of trails in the North Pocono region.
A letter about the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was received, and township chairman Anthony Jordan expressed distaste in the program.
The Lackawanna County Department of Economic Development sent the letter regarding a public hearing on April 19th in the Lackawanna County Administration building for the 2017 CDBG program.
The letter stated that an estimated $187,000 would be made available for projects benefiting non-entitlement CDBG communities.
CDBG is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant issues funds meant to benefit low-to-moderate income citizens, prevent urban blight and address various community needs.
Municipalities that want to take advantage of these funds must propose projects that benefit 51 percent of low-moderate income citizens to qualify.
Jordan explained that there are mandated and unmandated communities under CDBG guidelines. Mandated communities have a population of 4-5000 people.
“If you have that, you automatically get money, because you're mandated to get money” he explained. “The other municipalities have to compete for CDBG funds.”
Jordan stated there were two exceptions to the 51 percent rule, which were senior centers and handicap accessibility.
“Years ago, we did get a grant to do these bathrooms,” Jordan stated, indicating the bathrooms in the township building. “It cost thirty thousand dollars and the engineering cost was nine thousand dollars. We fought the thing all the way through to try to get the cost cut down and of course we lost.”
Secretary Farischon added that they were also required to use an architect for the bathrooms project, which cost $8,000.
The recycling date originally set for March 18th was delayed to April 1 thanks to the massive snowfall of Stella.
The annual spring cleanup is set for Monday, May 15th. Residents are instructed to leave unwanted items at the curbside by 6 a.m. that morning.
The Roaring Brook Township board of auditors conducted their audit on 2016. The board indicated the records accurately reflected the fiscal condition of the township. Township supervisors will have to address three items.
One item was carried over from the previous year's audit: there are six uncleared checks from 2006 to 2015. The board secretary didn't sign the monthly meetings in the minutes book and an officer's wages were not officially set in a monthly meeting.
The 2016 audit and financial report was submitted February 22, 2017. It will need to be amended after the PMRS PA Municipal Retirement System releases their financial statement at the end of the first quarter of 2017.