By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Hermitage city officials are in the planning stages of the fifth block under the Neighborhood Investment Program, and have scheduled a meeting for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16 for residents and property owners to learn about the program and suggest improvements.
The target area is bounded on the south by Highland Road, the east by North Buhl Farm Drive, the north by Buhl Farm park and the west by the park and the city of Sharon.
The program targets older, established neighborhoods and tries to address their infrastructure needs, which typically include streets, sanitary and storm sewers, code enforcement issues and street signs.
Once a work plan is set, officials design projects and identify funding.
While some of the Neighborhood Investment Program work has been funded by federal Community Development Block Grants, work for Block 5 largely will come from city tax money and take three years or more to complete, said City Manager Gary P. Hinkson.
The city is paving streets in northern Patagonia, dubbed Block 4, using CDBG money.
City commissioners a couple of years ago allowed the allocation of the local services tax proceeds to go to the Neighborhood Investment Program, and the program is separate from the city’s annual road paving program, Hinkson said.
The Block 5 area was chosen because Aqua Pennsylvania has been replacing water lines and Hermitage Municipal Authority is designing a project for sanitary sewer line replacement and rehabilitation, Hinkson said.
Assistant City Manager Gary M. Gulla said the combination of city funds, CDBG money, state grants and private investment has totaled about $7.5 million in the Neighborhood Investment Program target areas since 1998.