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Physical improvements coming to Juniata County Library

Bequest will allow addition of steps to make the building safer

MIFFLINTOWN — A project to install new steps and fencing to make foot traffic smoother and improve safety at the Juniata County Library was given approval Tuesday by the Juniata County Commissioners.

Library Director Vince Giordano and Board President Mindy Winder presented the project proposal for the commissioners to review.

“We received a very generous bequest from Mildred W. Crawford,” Giordano said. “The board thought up ways to see what to do with it and came up with a project for steps that would help us better use the bottom part of the library.”

Giordano said the project, which is estimated to cost “just under $20,000,” will be fully funded by the bequest.

Winder said the project makes sense because, “with a fence at the top, it will send people down the steps and keep kids from going down that hill.”

“This would make for an easier flow down to the garden and community rooms,” Winder said.

Giordano said the library board recently approved a proposal for the work to be completed by Cramer Construction, the same firm that built the memorial garden behind the facility.

“We like this being done by the same company,” he said. “It gives it continuity.”

The board also heard a

presentation from Cindy Williams, of Juniata Valley Bank, who announced that applications are currently being accepted for the annual Richard and Lela Nestler College Scholarships for eligible seniors at Juniata and East Juniata High Schools. Juniata Valley Bank is in charge of the scholarship fund trust.

Williams said conditions of the scholarships are as follows:

¯ The annual net income from the trust is presented to two recipients, one from each high school, for the purposes of a college education.

¯ Applicants must apply by May 1 with the guidance counselor at the respective schools.

¯ The students from each school with the highest combined Scholastic Aptitude Test scores shall receive the scholarship. If students have identical scores, criteria has been established to break the tie.

¯ Recipients shall have their tuition paid for the academic year following their high school graduation.

Williams said the scholarships totaled nearly $4,000 in 2016 and expects that number to be close to identical for 2017.

In other business Tuesday, the board heard an update on the Oakland Mills sewer project from Bill Seigel, SEDA-Council of Governments community development program chief.

Seigel said the project will utilize several sand mound systems to provide sewage for several lots in the Oakland Mills area.

He added that SEDA-COG will be applying for a $750,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development by June 30. He said he believes the total project cost will be $1- $1.2 million.

Matt Updegrove, SEDA-COG, provided an application schedule for applying for 2017 Community Development Block Grant funding, which he estimates will be close to the 2016 amount of $220,000.

A number of deadlines beginning with notification to communities and authorities to submit project ideas in May until the final application submission in September, were discussed.

In other business, the commissioners:

¯ Approved several documents pertaining to the 2016 HOME Funds grant application process.

¯ Approved the hiring of Susan Harris as a part-time deputy treasurer effective April 17.

¯ Ratified a Juniata County Hazardous Materials check in the amount of $55.58 to Wex Bank for the purchase of fuel.

¯ Approved the second quarter Medical Assistance Transportation Program report.

¯ Approved payment of bills in the amount of $134,474.50.

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