Cambria County grants will help in several areas

EBENSBURG – Cambria County has received about $800,000 in grants for various infrastructure improvements, shelter efforts and rapid rehousing initiatives, officials said Thursday.

Grants totaling $642,246 and $150,000 were awarded to the county through the Community Development Block Grant and the Emergency Solutions Grant programs, respectively, said Larry Custer, Cambria County Redevelopment Authority director.

The $642,246 Community Development Block Grant will be used for a variety of infrastructure and public needs projects, Custer said.

About $60,000 will go toward construction of a handicap-accessible elevator at the Portage Public Library, while the Redevelopment Authority will use about $100,000 to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties throughout the county for eventual sale or rental to low-income families, Custer said.

In addition, $51,576 was set aside for administrative funds for the authority.

Public works programs for entitlement communities were also covered under the CDBG funding, including $95,657 to complete construction of a water reservoir line in Cambria Township and $82,459 for the clearance and cleanup of a brownfield site in Cresson Township, Custer said.

Under the $150,000 Emergency Solutions Grant, $81,900 was set aside for the Women’s Help Center in Johnstown. The funds will help provide services for about 40 women over the next two years, Custer said.

“We didn’t get as much as we hope, but we did show need,” Custer said of the ESG funds.

The next largest chunk of ESG funding was awarded to the Community Action Partnership of Cambria County. About $62,470 was set aside to fund rapid rehousing projects and provide assistance for about 30 homeless individuals in the county, Custer said.

The $150,000 ESG is matched dollar for dollar by the Redevelopment Authority through the County Housing Assistance Program, Cambria County Affordable Housing Trust Fund and various other agencies, Custer said.

During their meeting Thursday, Cambria County commissioners praised Custer for his efforts in securing the funds.

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.