Wayne County Commissioners were asked Tuesday, to be sure applicants for the annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program are better aware of the criteria to apply. Bill Woodward, who is on the board at the Pleasant Mount Community Center, was concerned that a grant application for activities had been denied.


Wayne County Commissioners were asked Tuesday, to be sure applicants for the annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program are better aware of the criteria to apply. Bill Woodward, who is on the board at the Pleasant Mount Community Center, was concerned that a grant application for activities had been denied.
The County Commissioners issue approval of applications first made in January, which are forwarded to the state for approval. The CDBG program is administered by the Wayne County Redevelopment Authority and is a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Woodward said there was a perception that applicants in southern Wayne County are favored when requesting grants.  He reminded, “[Wayne County] doesn’t end at Route 6.” Commissioner Anthony Herzog offered evidence to the contrary, from a list of many funded projects in municipalities up north. Chairman Brian Smith assured they seek to be equitable and it was a reasonable request that applicants have guidelines.
Local municipalities and nonprofit organizations apply for funding each year. Pleasant Mount Community Center was granted two of their three requests, $ 6,850 for a fire alarm system, and $4,200 for a commercial grade electric stove, but was turned down for $14,000 for an activities program.
Woodward noted it takes considerable work to prepare an application, and was told a similar program had been funded elsewhere.
He explained later that the funds would have paid for a six week summer program of activities for the children as well as a nutrition program for adults. They programs at present are on hold pending being funded.
According to the HUD web site, CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities.
CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons. In addition, each activity must meet one of the following national objectives for the program: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or address community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community for which other funding is not available. For more information, see www.hud.gov.
Woodward is also a member of the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Committee which recommends where to allocate funding from the Room Rental Excise Tax, and owns Valley View Campgrounds. He reported that the local members of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association had good success distributing brochures paid from the tax. They were allocated $500 by the Commissioners in February. He said that they ran out of brochures at the RV show held in York in early March, where he had a chance to promote Wayne County.
• The Commissioners also appointed Bruce Chandler, a Paupack Township Supervisor, to the board of the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District. He succeeds Tom Danolvitz, who recently passed away.
• Resignations were accepted from Susan Gustafson, MH/MR, effective May 5; and two part-time dispatchers who were in training, Robert Wright and Barbara Hughes.
The Wayne County Commissioners meet Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Courthouse.