City pursues grants for pool building roof, greenways plan

Warren City Council approved two grant application resolutions at its meeting Monday evening to replace the roof of a building at the municipal pool and complete a comprehensive plan of the city’s greenways and trails.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority under the Greenway Trails and Recreation Program Grant requested council approve a resolution to apply for a $30,000 grant for the construction of a new roof for the lifeguards locker room building, City Planner David Hildebrand told council.

Hildebrand said 85 percent ($25,500) would come from the grant and the local match would be 15 percent ($4,500).

City Manager Nancy Freenock said the city’s portion would be in the 2015 budget. One of the items at council’s Aug. 4 special meeting would be to award a contract for renovation of the pool building if it is within the city’s budget, she said.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority under the Greenway Trails and Recreation Program Grant also requested the city to approve a resolution for a grant application for a Warren park, recreation, greenways and trails comprehensive plan.

The total cost of the project is $45,000 with 85 percent ($38,250) paid by the grant and 15 percent ($6,750) paid by the city, Hildebrand said.

“The comprehensive recreation and plan document will assist the City of Warren in creating community vision and goal-setting opportunities to fully understand the recreation needs of the community. In addition, the document will guide greenway and trail development and enhance development of the Walkable Warren project. Also an updated recreation document will place the city in an excellent position to gain additional state and federal grant funding,” Hildebrand said.

Freenock said the last comprehensive plan was done by city staff in 1998 and the new plan would be done by an outside consulting firm.

“We generally see them come in around $60,000,” she said. “We’ve never seen a 15 percent match, it’s usually 50.”

“Seems to be more and more interest working towards greenway and trail development, so from a standpoint of a staff to look at a document like this would put us in a good perspective for the future. The current plan we have was done in 1998 and at that time we did not really look at the area’s greenways and trails,” Hildebrand said, adding the last professional comprehensive plan was done in the early 1980s.

“We’re finding even with the grants, federal and state grants,” he added. “We continue to have good success with these but competition, of course, gets more intense as time goes on and what we’re finding is more and more communities are putting together a document of this type just to have a better standing with the state and grant funding programs.”

The city’s match for the comprehensive plan would also be in the 2015 budget, Freenock said. Council approved the resolution with Councilman Sam Harvey voting against it.