The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 16, 2012

Need exceeds money available for local projects by 2-1 margin

MERCER COUNTY — It often happens with grant programs, that there are more applicants than can be funded with the available pot of money.

Mercer County Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday was introduced to four projects for Transportation Enhancement program funds. The applications total $973,613, but there is only $472,000 available.

In July, the MPO will have to decide how to divvy up the money for any or all of the four applicants.

MPO gets about $236,000 in Transportation Enhancement program funds a year, and has allocations for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to award to eligible projects.

These four applications were discussed Tuesday:

Greenville and Hempfield Township have filed a joint application for $154,011 to build a sidewalk along Main Street/Hadley Road from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue.

Grove City is seeking $601,202 for a streetscape project on Pine Street from Wolf Creek to Center Street, a continuation of the Broad Street project.

Mercer County Trails Association has asked for $97,750 to pave the middle of the 2-mile Trout Island Trail, which runs from Mercer Avenue in Sharpsville to Trout Island Road in Hermitage. The association paved each end of the trail, but had to hold off on the middle 3,100 feet because the Army Corps of Engineers needed to use part of the path - an abandoned railroad bed - to get equipment to the Shenango River Lake dam so the service road along the top of the dam could be replaced. The middle section is made up of a crushed limestone surface, and the entire length of trail is open to walkers, runners and bicyclists. The association also proposes building the newly paved section of trail to be 13 feet wide, 5 feet wider than the rest of the trail.

Sharpsville wants to build a sidewalk along High Street from Walnut Street and Canal Park, an $84,500 project.

The MPO can decide to split the available money among all of the projects, or fund some at the expense of others, Stewart said.

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