COAL TOWNSHIP — The Coal Township Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a number of items related to community development and housing needs with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and an application for HOME funds at its monthly meeting Thursday night.

A qualification package submitted by the Housing Development Corporation of Northumberland County to administer a new HOME housing rehabilitation contract for the township was accepted.

The township will also be submitting a competitive HOME program application for $400,000 to extend its income eligible owner-occupied housing rehab program to bring blighted properties up to code. The money would be used to rehabilitate an estimated 14 structures at an average construction cost of $24,400 per unit.

Submission of the township’s HOME program application was approved with the stipulation that any comments received prior to submission would be included in the application.

It was noted that the township will receive $149,876 in CDBG money from the Pennsylvania Small Communities Program for fiscal year 2018, which may be used for activities that benefit low-to-moderate income persons or eliminate slums and blight.

Included in the range of eligible activities for CDBG funds are public improvements; demolition of blighted properties; public services such as health, welfare and crime prevention; rehabilitation; code enforcement; historic preservation; home ownership assistance; economic development activities; and planning and administrative costs.

The commissioners will select projects that meet federal guidelines and a preliminary budget will be published next week with a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19, to allow for additional public comments.

The township is considering using some of the grant money for improvements on Walnut Street from Ash Street to Woodlawn Avenue at a cost of $33,948, and Lynn Street from Ash Street to Hazelwood Street at a cost of $43,428.

Other project work and the cost included scattered site demolition, $37,500; housing rehabilitation, $20,000 as leverage with the proposed HOME application; and ongoing administration of the community development program, $15,000.

Demolition bids OK’d

In other business, low demolition bids were approved for seven township structures as follows: Northeast Industrial Services for 556 N. First St. at a cost of $7,270 and 1435 Pulaski Ave. at a cost of $14,440; Ferdinand Diminick Contracting for 501 Main St., Ranshaw at a cost of $13,500; and Affordable Construction and Demolition for 1118 Trevorton Road at cost of $10,000 and 306 Water St. for $32,000.

A contract for construction of a new Ranshaw Park at the site of the former St. Anthony’s Parochial School located at 500 Webster St. was awarded to Brookside Landscaping and Tree Service for their total bid of $43,221.

With regard to the Carbon Run Project, a PENNVEST resolution was approved to allow for the reimbursement of Coal Township General Funds incurred already along with any additional monies incurred during phase 1 construction.

A motion also passed to set a time and date for trick-or-treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.

In other business, a request by two residents, William Shemanski and Diane Shattuck, who reside at 1456 W. Walnut St., for a reserved parking spot was approved due to a physical handicap. An exemption was required to allow the permit because a township ordinance states that the maximum number of reserved parking permits allowed by the township in any given block is two unless otherwise approved.

Another resident, Richard Nahodil, who lives in Coal Run, stated he is having problems with loud noise coming from a neighbor’s garage located next door to and facing his home. He respectfully asked if the commissioners could help all parties come up with a workable solution.

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