City seeks release of grant funding
SHAMOKIN - City council will request that the state release the grant funding awarded for the second phase of renovations at Claude Kehler Community Park.
A request is expected to be submitted next week for the $150,000 awarded in December. The city is required to match another $150,000, and the plan is to do so with Community Development Block Grant funds that Shamokin is awarded annually.
According to a published public notice, the project includes paving a 32-vehicle lot on Third Street and install a weathering steel foot bridge over Shamokin Creek that connects to the park. Additional walking paths, lighting and landscaping are also planned, as are two timber-frame pavilions and six park benches.
Project scope was pared down earlier this year in consideration of the city's depressed financial outlook. Shamokin had originally been awarded $250,000, which it would have been required to match in full, but the state agreed to scale back the grant award.
Funding won't be received for at least 15 days after the state receives the city's request. Bid specifications haven't yet been prepared. Lynn Dixson, community development officer, said there's a chance work could begin in late fall but it's more likely to begin next spring.
In 2007, Shamokin received approximately $200,000 through the Community Conservation Partnership Program to revamp the park, an amount that was also matched. Last year, the city and the Degenstein Foundation funded the construction of a community garden at the park.
Public comments on the new project are due in writing at City Hall by Friday. No comments had yet been submitted.
On a related note, an Aug. 12 meeting on the $3.4 million flood control and restoration project for Shamokin Creek and Carbon Run has been postponed. It has not yet been rescheduled, Dixson said Friday. Final bid specifications were to be discussed and forwarded to the state and federal emergency management agencies for final approval.