The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 11, 2013

Marcellus impact: Cambria authority receives $150,000 housing grant

EBENSBURG — While Cambria County has just a handful of Marcellus Shale natural gas wells, it will benefit from the host fees being paid by oil and gas companies to the state.

The Cambria County Redevelopment Authority is receiving a $150,000 grant from the state to meet housing needs as a result of the drilling activity.

Larry Custer, executive director of the redevelopment authority, used the frack water treatment facility under construction at a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. property as the basis for the application to Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

“This is some good news,” Custer said in announcing the grant.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate houses that have been acquired by the redevelopment authority through sheriff’s sales and what Custer termed “a variety of other ways.”

Four of the homes are in the city of Johnstown and two each are in Dale and Lorain boroughs.

The state’s Marcellus Shale impact fee is providing millions of dollars to the state for use in more than a dozen areas as spelled out in the enabling legislation passed last year.

One of the categories is housing, a need that arises when drilling operations move into a region. The influx of workers often results in skyrocketing rentals.

While no housing shortage has been reported in Cambria County due to the shale gas industry, the potential exists because of the frack water plant and future drilling, Custer said.

In its application, the authority requested $300,000 to meet housing needs. It was awarded half that amount.

But the door has been left open for additional money to Cambria County if other areas are unable to accept full grants, Custer said.

The grant must be matched with authority funds, and Custer had to be able to show ownership of the homes, he said.

County Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder said only half the counties in the state that host Marcellus gas operations received the housing money.

“Larry put together one heck of a package,” he said.

Not only will the grant provide safe housing for eight families, it will serve as an ongoing benefit through rental payments for years to come, money that will be put toward other housing rehabilitation, Custer said.

The Marcellus impact fee money is funding 25 housing projects across the state with $7.5 million being distributed to the 19 counties that submitted successful applications, according to information provided by the housing finance agency.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • amd 31 New filtration system targets mine water

    Orange stones surround a black plastic discharge pipe at the Rock Tunnel abandoned mine drainage site.
    There is a rusty tint to some nearby water and mud, too.
    Soon, though, a new filtration system, consisting of shallow vegetative wetlands, a settling basin, concrete trough, buried limestone and aeration component, is expected to help return those elements back to their natural appearances.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland to weigh speed study

    A group of Theatre Drive residents has convinced Richland Township’s supervisors to look into the costs of a special traffic study weighing whether their residential neighborhood’s current 35 mph speed limit should be reduced.

    July 30, 2014

  • Border battle lingers: Adams Twp. wants court to become involved

    Adams Township officials are asking the Cambria County court to once again become involved in its long-running boundary line dispute with Richland Township.

    July 30, 2014

  • FRANK BURNS 31 Officials urge creation of crime watch groups

    State Rep. Frank Burns told the crowd about the night his life changed forever.
    After leaving a AAABA game, the then-16-year-old Burns was surrounded by three males, “dancing” around him like boxers and taunting him.
    They attacked and he was on the ground. He took a powerful kick to the face.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Injured officer back on duty

    Two people were injured in a three-car accident Tuesday evening when a truck failed to yield to a Johnstown police officer who was rushing to assist another patrol car, police said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimm, Michael Child rapist to report to jail Monday; medical concern cited

    A Johnstown man set to pick a jury today on charges he sexually abused two boys, entered a guilty plea in Cambria County court Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIFT JOHNSTOWN ‘They got it done’: Lift Johnstown recognizes pair for trailhead work

    Rob McCombie and Steve Coy showed up Wednesday at a Path of the Flood Trail spur in East Conemaugh dressed like they were ready to get to work.
    Instead, a group of community advocates were waiting there to thank them for the hard work they’ve already put in.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local News in Brief | Philly man arrested for selling heroin

    July 30, 2014

  • Conemaugh Valley board tackles security, pupils’ instruction time

    The Conemaugh Valley school board on Wednesday agreed to improve security at the high school and increase instructional time and add art classes at the elementary school.

    July 30, 2014

  • Wine tasting, picnic will aid animals

    Briar Valley Winery and Bedford County Humane Society are hosting Yappy Hour 2014 at the vineyard grounds on Stein Road in Everett.

    July 30, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads