By JACOB PERRYMAN
Youngsville Borough Council will hold a public hearing Monday on designating part of the downtown as a redevelopment area.
Council will be hold a hearing at 4:30 p.m. April 9, prior to its regular meeting to consider the designation of an area downtown bounded by N. Main, W. Main, E. Main and Railroad streets. The move is part of ongoing efforts to provide funding for revitalization efforts.
On Feb. 21, the Warren County Redevelopment Authority approved the designation at the request of the borough. The hearing will allow residents and council members the chance to evaluate the designation before council takes the next step and approves the designation.
According to Youngsville Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg and Rich Cleveland, consulting engineer for the revitalization effort, the designation can be applied to areas determined to be blighted under Pennsylvania urban redevelopment law. A blight designation is based on an assessment that takes into consideration lighting, sidewalk, pavement, curb, gutter, storm drainage, signalization, handicap access and building deficiencies.
The designation would allow the borough to pursue Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the Redevelopment Authority. The area under consideration would have to utilize funds from the 30 percent of total county CDBG funding allocated for areas that are not 51 percent or more low-to-moderate income.
According to Hagberg and Cleveland, the designation would also improve the borough's application strength for other grant funding.
Hagberg said the designation will not impact residents negatively, and could even provide new opportunities for those residing or doing business in the effected area.
According to Hagberg, "The residents in the designated area will not be affected unless funding becomes available to perform various projects in the redevelopment area ranging from capital, infrastructure and facade improvements."
The borough needs more than $50,000 in additional funding to meet the estimated total costs for the streetscape revitalization project.
"We have a little time until the project begins," said Hagberg. "We're going to keep looking."
The borough hopes to seek bids for the project late this year and begin work in 2013.