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Businesses urged to apply for relief funds

Hospitality firms able to be granted virus money

LEWISTOWN — More than $419,000 in relief money for hospitality businesses whose bottom lines in 2020 were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is available now in Mifflin County and the Mifflin County Commissioners urged businesses to apply as soon as possible.

The program administered by SEDA-Council of Governments, called the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, or CHIRP, awards grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to businesses in the hospitality industry — such as hotels and restaurants — that suffered losses in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Mifflin County Planning Director Mark Colussy spoke during Thursday morning’s regular meeting of the commissioners and reported that while some businesses have applied and been approved, there’s still lots more help available.

“We are currently within the second window of that particular program and I’m happy to say there’s still money left in that particular program for many other businesses potentially applying for this program,” he said. “This particular program is focused on the hospitality industry, which is mainly related to food services and lodging — businesses that includes things like restaurants, bars, taverns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, those types of businesses.”

Colussy said eligibility can be determined by visiting the website www.naics.com/search.

Commissioner Robert Postal said any eligible business within the county can reach out to the commissioners, the county planning office or to the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce for help in applying for these funds.

“I just want to point out there have been six companies totaling $120,000 that will receive funds,” Postal said. “There’s sufficient funds available for those eligible applicants. We encourage those in the lodging or restaurant industry to look into this. Once this is done, I doubt there will be other grants. Sooner or later, they will end and there is now money available. So, call the county or call SEDA-COG or call, maybe the chamber. Those eligible should be able to apply and get some of these funds.”

The program ends June 15 or when no more funding is available, whichever comes first.

Also on Thursday, the commissioners:

¯Approved the minutes from the April 1 meeting;

¯Approved paying the county’s bills;

¯Approved the following requests for exoneration of the county’s portion of per capita taxes: 38 by Union Township Tax Collector Herb Zook and six by McVeytown Borough Tax Collector Brooke Knable;

¯Accepted an offer of $1,010 for a parcel in Lewistown Borough that was in the repository for unsold properties;

¯Accepted an offer of $1,200 for a different parcel in Lewistown Borough that was in the repository for unsold properties;

¯Amended action taken April 1 to exonerate Granville Township Tax Collector Billi Weaver from collecting a 2021 county real estate tax bill, correcting the amount to be exonerated to $9.46;

¯Approved a request for exoneration of 2021 county real estate tax bill in the amount of $1,754.33 and relieved the tax collector from collecting the bill for a parcel in Union Township because the parcel received an incorrect clean and green value and will be rebilled;

¯Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Policy Research Associates of Delmar, New York for Virtual Sequential Intercept Mapping Workshop with Strategic Action Planning at the cost of $24,250 to be paid through the re-entry grant;

¯Approved an agreement with Tim Geiger, of Shinglehouse, to provide re-entry dashboard development services in the amount of $6,000 to be paid through the re-entry grant;

¯Approved the caseworker visitation grant allocation for fiscal year 2020-21 in the amount of $2,000;

¯Approved an application for the Mifflin County Adult Probation grant-in-aid for the period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 in the amount of $21,841;

¯Approved the following change orders with the electrical contract related to the annex project: Delete fixture type M — a decrease of $1,430 and Wayne Street Streetscape Conduit — an addition of $7,149,13;

¯Approved the following change orders with the general contract related to the annex project: Delete final cleaning (decrease of $6,500), probation area revisions (addition of $3,989.04), alley/drawing 4-C3 revisions (decrease of $4,658.16), add french drain at alley (addition of $2,327.90) and undercut and repair parking area (addition of $7,582.15);

¯Approved business service agreements with Comcast Business for internet service for District Judge 58-3-03 (Kent Smith’s office) at monthly rate of $313.20 and District Judge 58-3-02 (Jonathan Reed’s office) at monthly rate of $363.15;

¯Approved Medical Assistance Transportation Program 2019-2020 allocation of $478,486;

¯Approved an addendum to Encartele inmate telephone contract, increasing revenue share from 45% to 48%;

¯Approved a grant application for the Intermediate Punishment Plan for the period of July1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 in the amount of $95,000;

¯Approved a Project Modification Request for the Intermediate Punishment Grant for the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, decreasing the grant by $1,232;

¯Approved the resignation of part-time corrections officer Jason Ciccolini, effective April 5;

¯Approved the hiring of part-time corrections officer Matthew Lutz, effective April 19;

¯Approved the retirement of Corrections Corporal Amanda Fisher, effective April 23;

¯Approved the hiring of Courtney Cole as probation officer, effective April 26;

¯Approved the resignation of part-time corrections officer Marissa Long, effective May 3;

¯Approved the hiring of Angela Price for housing stability assistant in the human services office, effective May 3.

The Mifflin County Commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 29 in the second-floor meeting room at the Mifflin County Courthouse in Lewistown. The meeting is available via Zoom.

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