Com­mis­sion­ers award $1.5M in lo­cal grants

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

The Mont­gomery County Com­mis­sion­ers on Thurs­day an­nounced that 14 projects in the county will re­ceive Montco 2040 Im­ple­men­ta­tion Grants.

The new grants con­tinue a pro­gram aimed at im­ple­ment­ing the county com­pre­hen­sive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vi­sion. The pro­gram is in­tended to as­sist mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in mak­ing tar­geted phys­i­cal im­prove­ments that achieve progress to­ward the goals of the plan and the plan’s themes of Con­nected Com­mu­ni­ties, Sus­tain­able Places and Vi­brant Econ­omy.

The grant awards ac­count for more than $1.5 mil­lion across 15 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. The county re-

ceived a to­tal of 27 ap­pli­ca­tions from mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to­tal­ing $3.5 mil­lion in re­quests. Projects were eval­u­ated in terms of im­pact, county and lo­cal plan­ning con­sis­tency, project readi­ness, and fund­ing at­tributes by a com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of Mont­gomery County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Board mem­bers and in­ter­de­part­men­tal county staff.

Projects were also given height­ened con­sid­er­a­tion when ad­dress­ing one of three fo­cus cat­e­gories for 2018: Walk/Bike Montco — Trails, Paths, Side­walk Con­nec­tions and Bike Fa­cil­i­ties; Down­town and Com­mu­nity Des­ti­na­tion Sup­port; and Adap­ta­tion and Re­siliency.

“These grants give our mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties new op­por­tu­ni­ties to achieve the shared goals of the Montco 2040 plan. We are see­ing a lot of won­der­ful ideas come out of this pro­gram, from ex­pand­ing side­walk gaps for pedes­tri­ans to im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity and re­duc­ing flood­ing in ur­ban­ized wa­ter­sheds. These projects im­prove and en­hance the high qual­ity of life in the county,” said Val Arkoosh, chair­woman of the Mont­gomery County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

Since the ini­ti­a­tion of the Montco 2040 Im­ple­men­ta­tion Grant Pro­gram in 2016, more than $3.7 mil­lion has been awarded to ben­e­fit 35 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the county.

Some of the projects that re­ceived grants in 2018 are high­lighted be­low:

• Pottstown – Walk and Bike Pottstown Trail Con­nec­tion

Pottstown Bor­ough will com­plete con­nec­tions be­tween the Walk and Bike Pottstown net­work and the Schuylkill River Trail through bike lane and side­walk im­prove­ments along the cor­ri­dors of N. Evans Street, N. Franklin Street, and Oak Street. This fund­ing fills a gap left af­ter a cost over­run with a pre­vi­ous seg­ment. The net­work is sup­ported by nu­mer­ous plans and lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and will pro­vide a di­rect con­nec­tion to a re­gion­ally sig­nif­i­cant piece of in­fra­struc­ture, the Schuylkill River Trail, which will even­tu­ally con­nect Pottstown with Philadel­phia.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $135,000

• Roy­ers­ford – River­front Park and Trail Project

Roy­ers­ford Bor­ough will ex­tend the ex­ist­ing Roy­ers­ford River­front Trail nearly a third of a mile south from 1st Ave. & Arch St. to the Bor­ough’s sewage treat­ment plant prop­erty. The ten foot wide paved mul­tiuse trail will in­clude over­look nodes, benches, trash re­cep­ta­cles, wayfind­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tive signs, rain gar­dens and na­tive plant land­scap­ing to en­hance the ri­par­ian buf­fer. A trail­head with small park­ing area will be lo­cated at south­ern end. The trail will pro­vide greater ac­cess to the Schuylkill River and will even­tu­ally serve as a link in the county’s proposed Schuylkill River East Trail.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $100,000

• Sch­wenksville – Perkiomen Trail Drainage Im­prove­ment at Sch­wenksville Sta­tion Project

Sch­wenksville Bor­ough is part­ner­ing with the Perkiomen Water­shed Con­ser­vancy to make drainage im­prove­ments along the Perkiomen Trail ad­ja­cent to the for­mer Sch­wenksville Rail­road Sta­tion prop­erty, now Snoozy’s Cafe. The project will im­prove drainage along the Trail, pre­vent fur­ther ero­sion of the trail bed and cre­ate a pedes­trian ob­ser­va­tion deck with in­ter­pre­tive signs over­look­ing the Perkiomen Creek with ac­cess to Meadow Park.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $43,560

• Up­per Hanover and Penns­burg – Mont­gomery Av­enue Bike Path and Side­wall In­stal­la­tion Project

Up­per Hanover Town­ship and Penns­burg Bor­ough will part­ner with the Up­per Perkiomen School Dis­trict (UPSD) to in­stall side­walk and an ad­join­ing bi­tu­mi­nous bike path along Mont­gomery Av­enue from the western side of the new UPSD Mid­dle School par­cel to West 6th Street in Penns­burg. The project will cor­rect a very dan­ger­ous ex­ist­ing con­di­tion for chil­dren who al­ready at­tend the neigh­bor­ing UPSD High School, and the prob­lem would only get worse with the fu­ture Mid­dle School be­ing built. It will ul­ti­mately pro­mote neigh­bor­hood mul­ti­modal ac­cess to both schools.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $150,000

• Lower Prov­i­dence – Cre­at­ing Con­nec­tions in Park Pointe Project

Lower Prov­i­dence Town­ship will in­stall side­walks to com­plete the pedes­trian gaps in its Park Pointe busi­ness park along Eisen­hower, Adams, and Jef­fer­son Av­enues. A cross­walk will also be in­stalled to im­prove ac­cess to an ex­ist­ing path­way that con­nects the busi­ness park to nearby re­tail de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing a Wawa and sev­eral restau­rants. The project was iden­ti­fied in the mas­ter plan for the busi­ness park and it will im­prove pedes­trian safety, en­cour­age healthy life­styles, and im­prove con­nec­tions to sur­round­ing de­vel­op­ments and des­ti­na­tions.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $100,000

• Norristown – Arch Street Green­way Cor­ri­dor Im­prove­ments Project

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Norristown will in­stall a prom­e­nade and green­way along the Saw Mill Run chan­nel be­tween Lafayette Street and E. Main Street. The im­prove­ment will serve as a gate­way into Norristown for Schuylkill River Trail users as well as a path­way for res­i­dents to ac­cess the trail. It will en­hance the walk­a­bil­ity of Norristown’s Main Street cor­ri­dor and pro­vide an aes­thetic break in the streetscape. This is the first phase of a planned Arch Street Green­way, which will con­nect Sim­mons Park to the Schuylkill River Trail and the newly re­designed Lafayette Street. It also forms part of the larger Stony Creek/Saw Mill Run Green­way Plan that extends through Norristown, East Nor­ri­ton, and West Nor­ri­ton.

Montco 2040 Grant Award: $150,000

For a full list of grant re­cip­i­ents visit www.mont­copa.org.

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