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Lackawanna Co. Commissioners gives nearly $200K in grants to 20 community projects

Veterans Park.jpg

CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WOLF) -- Just a few years ago, this stretch of along State Street in Clarks Summit was nothing more than an empty lot.

Now, the mayor and borough council have turned it into a memorial park for veterans.

“We took it from the beginning and we’re following all the way through. And we can see the pleasure and the enjoyment that our residents have when they stop by here and just relax and reminisce about old times,” Herman Johnson, Mayor of Clarks Summit, said.

The park is in Phase 2 of its development and is receiving a helping hand from the Lackawanna County Commissioners.

Its one of 20 projects chosen to receive part of a nearly $200,000 grant from the Community Re-Invest Program.

“The money that actually comes from the Office of Economic Community Development and its set aside each year as part of their normal budget so its approximately $400,000,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley said.

The program began back in July 2013 and has so far helped about 135 projects.

The Veterans Park will receive $10,000 to go towards furthering the progress the borough has already made.

“We’ve got the beautiful gazebo, the monument, all kinds of landscaping down the other side, we’re going to be putting period lights in, doing the trees, and its really going to be exceptional as far as we’re concerned,” Clarks Summit Councilman Patrick Williams said.

And thanks to the grant and donated money and time from contractors, the new improvements come at no cost to taxpayers.

Just a few miles away in Taylor, four projects received funding from the county, including $8,000 to the Fire and Rescue for remodeling, $6,000 towards a new tractor for the softball field, and $5,000 for upgrades to the Veterans Memorial on Main Street.

The borough manager says that money goes a long way in making those improvements happen.

“There’s never enough money to go around and to do things as nice as everybody would like to do it. Through the county grant program it enables all of these non-profits and these civic groups to advance their programs and to make it nicer to hopefully draw in more users of each of their individual specific projects,” Taylor Borough Manager Daniel P. Zeleniak said.

This is the second round of grants for the Community Re-Invest Program this year.

The commissioners say a third round will probably take place later this fall.

Recipients are chosen based on need and anyone interesting in applying can visit Lackawanna County’s website.

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