Greene County commissioners recently approved $60,000 in federal aid funding that will be used to assist three local entities.
Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid’s office, Eva K. Bowlby Public Library in Waynesburg and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) each were allocated $20,000 in American Rescue Plan funding during the commissioners’ Sept. 16 public meeting.
Commissioner Mike Belding said part of the American Rescue Plan – which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March with the intent of combating the COVID-19 pandemic – includes direct federal aid to counties and municipalities, of which Greene County will receive $7.4 million dollars over two years.
“Much like CARES Act Funding, these are restricted funds with federal requirements for allocation and accountability reporting,” Belding said.
Representatives from each of the organizations reached out to the commissioners and requested funding assistance this summer, citing economic hardships and other needs caused by the pandemic and other issues, Belding said.
Commissioners also approved a renewal lease between the county and Kathy Kiger for the Airport Restaurant, located at Greene County Airport in Waynesburg. The lease, totaling $1,000 monthly in rent plus utilities, is automatically renewed annually, Belding said.
After a fire erupted in the airport’s administration building in March, causing damage to the restaurant and to the office of District Judge Glenn Bates, the restaurant has required extensive improvements, Belding said. As a result, commissioners re-negotiated the lease and increased the rent to $1,000 per month.
Belding said Kiger has not been paying rent since the fire closed the restaurant.
“We will begin collecting rent again once she can open the restaurant,” he said. “We hope to be re-opened in October.”
Belding said after the fire officials found out the building was not “built to specs or approved design.” The building also needs redesigned wiring and the project has experienced delays with materials.
“It has not been easy, that’s for sure,” he said.
In other news, commissioners approved Forgivable Advance for Small Business Assistance (FASBA) funding for two local businesses. Greene County was recently awarded an additional $300,000 in FASBA funding that other counties could not distribute, Belding said.
To date, 24 businesses have been allocated more than $900,000, and other businesses are applying.
Commissioners also approved to accept a proposal from Blout Paving Company of Uniontown totaling $19,576 for a paving project at Greene River Trail.
Belding said the project – which will entail paving a gravel parking lot at the entrance to Jessop Trail Head – will mostly likely be delayed until spring, as a Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Authority project will be completed in the same area.
“We don’t want collateral damage to the parking area by that project,” he said.
The paving project will be funded by community, business, industry and county contributions, he said.
Commissioners also approved several proclamations, including one recognizing September as Suicide Prevention Month and Sept. 10 as Suicide Prevention Day, another recognizing September as Veteran Suicide Prevention Month and a third recognizing September as Recovery Month and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month.