Bradford County receiving funds for flooding
Bradford County will be one of the main beneficiaries of $49 million in federal funds that are being released in Pennsylvania to address problems that resulted from flooding in 2011, the county's Community Development Block Grant coordinator said.
The county will submit an application on Friday Aug. 23 to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development for a share of the funds for various local projects, Bradford County Community Development Block Grant coordinator Robyn D'Anna said at the Bradford County commissioners' meeting on Thursday.
The projects will be identified on the application, she said.
The county has been working with municipalities to identify eligible projects, but businesses or other entities that have projects can still contact D'Anna to have their project included in the application, she said.
The projects that will be eligible for funding are projects that have not yet been completed or started, she said.
The money will not be used to reimburse businesses, municipalities or individuals for projects that were completed in the past, she said.
"I think people are still struggling from the last floods" in 2011, said Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko.
The $49 million are Community Development Block Grant funds that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development providing to Pennsylvania for "disaster recovery," D'Anna said.
The availability of the money "has taken quite some time to come to fruition, but it's here," she said.
Bradford County was one of five counties that, together, will be receiving 80 percent of the CDBG disaster recovery funds that are earmarked for Pennsylvania, "so we (Bradford County) should be getting a good amount of it," D'Anna said.
D'Anna said that the specific projects for which the funding is sought will be reviewed by the Bradford County commissioners before being forwarded to the Department of Economic Development. The DCED will decide whether each proposed project is funded.
The application that is due Friday will include applications for projects such as repairing damage to roads and bridges and projects that would assist businesses, D'Anna said.
A later round of funding will be available for homes that still need rehab work to address damage from the 2011 flooding, she said.
The Bradford County commissioners issued a press release on Thursday about the Aug. 23 grant application, which states:
"Just over one year ago, the Bradford County CDBG/Housing Rehab Coordinator contacted all municipalities (in the county) to get information back on those that had road, bridge and stream damage or knew of any affected homes and businesses resulting from the flooding events of 2011 including the April 2011 storm, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
"HUD began work on developing a Disaster Recovery grant within the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) structure. A list of projects collected by the Grants Office was submitted to Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) who will administer this grant. The grant application kit is now ready to be distributed. The Bradford County Grants Coordinator is beginning to contact the municipalities who submitted projects in 2012, but the county also wants to reach out to all county residents, businesses and municipalities for projects that have not been completed that were created by those 2011 flood events," the press release said.
The categories of projects that are eligible to be included in the Aug. 23 grant application are:
- low-interest loans for economic development: criteria for this assistance to individual businesses include the following:
- Small business with fewer than 100 employees that suffered physical damage or economic loss due to the 2011 disasters, with a maximum per business loan of $50,000.
- Businesses making physical improvements that reduce the opportunity for flood losses resulting from future weather related events, with a maximum loan per business of $200,000.
- Commitment to re-open business within 12 months of receipt of assistance
- Infrastructure projects to prevent further damage to affected areas.
- Either public or private projects that FEMA or other sources cannot fund, but are nevertheless critical to recovery including; damaged water and sewer systems, storm drainage, levees, other flood control and protection devices, roads and bridges.
- Development of a comprehensive community development plan.
For further information, contact D'Anna at (570) 268-4103.