County awarded streetscape grant

Brown Township to receive funding for improvements

­­REEDSVILLE–After Mifflin County was awarded more than $834,000 for a streetscape project, the county plans to use to the grant funding for significant improvements in Brown Township.

According to the Brown Township Supervisors, the township is expected to provide a 15 percent match to the approximately $834,610 grant and will be responsible for all engineering and design.

“The way it all started is we wanted to freshen up downtown Reedsville,” said Board Chairman, Jamie Fultz. Fultz explained that Lewistown chose not to apply for the grant to improve a portion of its downtown area, so the county, along with Bill Gomes of the Mifflin County Planning Commission, approached Brown Township and guided the board through the application process.

Improvements to the Reedsville area are expected to include a variety of projects including a new sidewalk system, pavers, provisions for trees, pedestrian lighting, cleaning of utilities and handicap access points, such as a handicap accessible fishing pier. Sewer system changes along Route 655 are also expected to help bring more business into the area. “We’re just trying to make the community better,” said Fultz. “I’ve lived here in Reedsville all my life, it’s just been slowly deteriorating. We’re just applying for grants to improve the community and the public.”

Fultz went on to explain that the township has previously applied for grants through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in order to install a walking track at the Reedsville playground, purchase new playground equipment and replace the playground pavilion this fall as well as make improvements to the area ball fields and bleachers. Fultz also mentioned that the use of the grants helps to save taxpayer dollars.

Board Vice Chairman Kay Hamilton stated that along with improving the township itself, the board has also made a goal to improve communciation with township residents. As part of this goal, the township recently launched a new website to keep residents informed and provide a platform for them to share their concerns.

“We really want to have a connection with residents in every way we can,” said Hamilton.

Additionally, the board recently created a new office manager position in order to increase efficiency for the township office and area residents. Hamilton explained that the position was not a new hire, but involved an increase in job duties to keep track of everything going on in the area.

The township also purchased a property adjacent to its current office as part of a longterm goal of moving the office and creating more space and accessibility for public meetings.

Supervisor Scott Pecht said, “There’s just some things going on here, we’re excited about it and I think if the people know about it, they’ll be excited too.”