Projects recommended for grants from state

The county received nearly $1.4 million in grants for environmental projects.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners announced at their chief clerk's meeting a preliminary list of projects they will recommend for Growing Greener grants.
The recommendation means the projects will be funded unless some unexpected problem is found with the application, Commissioner Michele Brooks said Tuesday.
Growing Greener was a May 2005 statewide ballot measure approved by voters to authorize borrowing $624 million for environmental projects.
The county projects already have undergone an initial review to make sure they comply with the rules.
The projects are:
$300,000 for a restoration of Lake Julia at Buhl Farm in Hermitage.
$130,000 for a sewer project in Reynolds.
$30,000 for purchase of catch basins as part of a Vernon Township sewer project.
$31,579 for Fox Run stream restoration in Jackson Center.
$92,981 for stream restoration in Powder Mill Run, which flows into French Creek in the eastern part of the county.
$100,000 for a Stoneboro wastewater treatment project.
$50,000 for the cost of materials in a sewer replacement in West Middlesex.
About funding
Nearly all the projects received less funding than requested. But Brooks and Commissioner Olivia Lazor said they wanted to spread the money as far as possible as long as it is likely the projects will obtain the remainder of the money from other sources.
The preliminary project list amounts to $734,560 of the $1.39 million the county received in Growing Greener funds. Commissioners said several others are being considered, but they needed more research before a final decision is made.
Several were disqualified because of state rules or because they received funding from other sources, they said.
The preliminary list will come up for a formal vote at the commissioners' Nov. 2 meeting, but approval may not be unanimous.
Commissioner Brian Beader said he objects to using the funds to pay for municipal sewer projects and said he thinks the awards should more properly go toward cleaning up contaminated areas.
Lazor pointed out, however, that the cost of needed sewer projects exceeds the annual budgets for some municipalities and "there is no way a small borough or township could tax its citizens enough to pay for these."
Commissioners received more than $3.8 million in requests for Growing Greener grants.

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