Proposals for CDBG money gathered

Warren County does not have an official tally of its annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation, but it is accepting proposals.

Grants Administrator Lorri Dunlap outlined the requirements for CDBG projects – particularly that they must benefit people of low to moderate income, address blight, or address an urgent threat to public health or safety – prior to the Warren County Commissioners’ meeting Wednesday morning.

In the past, CDBG funds have been used in the county on projects including water and sewer line replacement, sidewalk and street work, and the purchase, demolition, and/or sale of blighted properties, among others.

“I have solicited proposals from the municipalities,” Dunlap said.

Project proposals must meet the requirements above, must not require more than the annual CDBG allocation, and must benefit as many residents as possible.

Another public hearing wil be held once the commissioners have selected projects for the year.

In 2013, the county’s allocation was $227,000 and Dunlap said she expects the 2014 allocation to be close to that.

The commissioners thanked Dunlap for her efforts with respect to CDBG projects and lauded the program for providing much needed dollars to county projects.

Fair housing

Along with the CDBG update, Dunlap presented information on fair housing practices.

“This notice will serve to advise all residents of Warren County that the following actions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status (families with children), or handicap, are considered discriminatory: refusing to sell or rent, deal or negotiate with any person; discriminating on terms or conditions for buying or renting housing; discriminating by advertising that housing is available only to persons of a certain, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or handicap; denying that housing is available for inspection, sale or rent when it really is available; blockbusting-for profit, persuading owners to sell or rent housing by telling them that minority groups are moving into the neighborhood; denying or making different terms or conditions for home loans by financial institutions; and denying to anyone the use of or participation in any real estate services, multiple-listing services or other facilities related to the selling and renting of housing.”

Complaints may be directed to Dunlap at the Warren County Courthouse, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in Harrisburg, and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

Wilderness rescue

The commissioners approved renewing a memorandum of understanding with the Allegheny National Forest. In cases of a missing person in a designated wilderness area, the ANF would make the call on whether or not motorized vehicles could be used in search and rescue efforts while the county sheriff’s office would coordinate the search and rescue effort.