Projects Reviewed for Act 13 Funds

By April Feagley
Daily News Staff Writer

The Huntingdon County Planning Commission approved the use of Act 13 Marcellus Shale Legacy Funds to finance two projects within the county during its monthly meeting Thursday.
Act 13 funds are disbursed to each county in the state, with amounts varying according to population. The majority of the monies must be spent on recreation, Greenway projects, open spaces or agricultural land preservation. Huntingdon County received $30,000.

Two applications, one for pavilion and ball field improvements in Shirleysburg Borough and the other, “Putting the Park in the Business Park,” for a project proposed in Shirley Township, were reviewed during a workshop held prior to the meeting.
Kathy Varner submitted an application for funding on behalf of Shirleysburg Borough and attended the workshop to present the proposal.
“This field, it’s an old area,” Varner said. “It’s not just used by borough kids and borough leagues. Teams from Mount Union and Orbisonia use it. Church groups use it. There is a soccer team who uses it for practice. There was a wedding there April 16. The tractor show, which is a threeday event, is held there and people actually camp there during it. It’s where they hold the apple butter festival. There’s a nice pavilion there and at least a dozen nice picnic tables, with a concession stand and outdoor restrooms.”
The application outlined plans to improve the baseball field with the installation of sand, bases, home plate and a pitcher’s mound; the addition of two steel grills near the pavilion; the installation of four benches; and the installation of a “Borough of Shirleysburg” sign.
Amy Wise of Huntingdon County Business and Industry (HCBI) submitted an application which requested Act 13 funds for the design and planning of a riparian buffer in the area surrounding the ditch created during earth-moving activity at Riverview Business Park in Shirley Township.
Wise was unable to attend the meeting as HCBI’s annual gala was also held Thursday, so the project was presented by Huntingdon County Planning Department director Mark Colussy.
The proposal calls for Act 13 funds to be used to create plans and construction details which will include a walkway, buffer zones and a landscape and maintenance plan to improve the aesthetics and functions of a portion of the Riverview Business Park in line with the “Putting the Park in the Business Park.”
“We have two projects to be considered,” said Huntingdon County Planning Commission board chairman Ron Rabena. “Do we have a motion to recommend these two projects to the commissioners?”
“I’ll make that recommendation that we allow $10,000 for each project,” said Ray Barley.
Barley’s motion received a second from Cindy Anderson and a role call vote garnered unanimous support.
The planning board recommendations for approval of the two projects will now be submitted to the Huntingdon County Commissioners for final approval for the receipt of funds.