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United Way of Lancaster County


Commissioners approve $3.85 million in ARPA grants, will consider $1 million for TLC shelter next week (update)

Lancaster County Government Center, 150 N. Queen St. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Update, Feb. 21: On Wednesday, the commissioners unanimously approved allocating $3.85 million from ARPA to fund 14 community projects.

Previously reported:

In line with their deliberations last week, Lancaster County commissioners are scheduled to vote Wednesday on allocating $3.85 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to 14 community projects.

In addition, the commissioners agreed during their work session Tuesday morning to place $1 million in ARPA for Tenfold on the agenda for a vote next week. The money would go toward a new HVAC system at Tenfold’s TLC shelter, part of an ambitious renovation project being planned there.

ARPA Round 2

The 14 projects up for funding Wednesday include several municipal infrastructure projects, two stream restorations and a mentoring program offered by the nonprofit Bench Mark that seeks to reduce recidivism by helping youths adjudicated for gun crimes prepare for employment.

The largest grant $1 million, is to go to the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority for the Prince Street Community Hub at 132-34 S. Prince St. The authority is proposing to remodel the site into a center offering a comprehensive range of shelter and homelessness services.

Click to enlarge. (Source: Lancaster County)

All three commissioners expressed support for the package of projects. Commissioner Alice Yoder, who had hesitated last week to endorse the full slate of infrastructure projects, said she subsequently reviewed the Lancaster County Planning Department’s analysis of them and is now comfortable moving forward.

The department divided infrastructure applications into three priority tiers; the projects up for funding are all Tier 1 or Tier 2. The four Tier 2 projects proposed for funding total $462,486: They are Quarryville’s water main, East Petersburg’s two projects and the East Petersburg pump replacement.

Her remaining concern, she said, is how much of the available funding the 14 projects will take up. Providing them $3.85 million as proposed would leave just $2.15 million, or 36%, of the $6 million that the commissioners have tagged as the approximate total amount for this second (and final) round of community ARPA grants.

In all, 29 third-party projects, seeking a total of $21 million, have been reviewed and deemed eligible.

They’re all worthwhile, Yoder said. She asked her colleagues about $3.6 million in ARPA that’s being kept in reserve, and whether it could be considered for community grants as well.

For now, the $3.6 million is unallocated, Commissioner Josh Parsons said.
Under federal ARPA rules, local jurisdications must allocate ARPA funds by the end of 2024, and funds must be spent by the end of 2026. The county has been spending the majority of the money on its own needs and priorities, including staff retention and a wide range of infrastructure upgrades.

The Bench Mark program was launched with a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency. ARPA funding is needed to support and expand operations through 2024, according to the nonprofit’s application to the county; thereafter, it can be covered through Child Welfare funding, Deputy Chief Clerk Amy Campbell said.

TLC, 105 E. King St. (Source: OUL file photo)


As for the TLC, the renovations planned there are essential to keeping the 52-unit former hotel at 105 E. King St. in service, Tenfold CEO Shelby Nauman and Project Manager Roger Steffy told the commissioners Tuesday morning.

All of its systems — including plumbing, electrical, HVAC and sprinklers — are badly deteriorated, Steffy said, and need to be replaced before they fail entirely.

The TLC is a linchpin in the county’s homelessness services network, the two said, providing wraparound services to help clients achieve long-term housing stability. Its “Veterans’ Victory House” is a 17-unit subsection reserved for former servicemen, who receive specialized services.

It would be “devastating” if TLC were taken out of service, Steffy said.

The county is being asked to underwrite the HVAC overhaul. The current equipment is a hodge-podge that includes individual window-mounted units in residents’ rooms. It would be replaced with a single efficient roof-mounted system serving the entire building. Rooms would continue to have individual temperature controls.

Combined with the other renovations, including electrical and lighting, the changeover is projected to reduce energy consumption by about 30%, Steffy said.
The commissioners agreed on the TLC’s importance, but asked if Tenfold could make do with less than $1 million. Any shortfall would necessitate additional fundraising, Nauman answered.

Tenfold has been piecing together the TLC construction budget from numerous public and private funding sources. In 2022, it secured $1 million in ARPA funding from the city.

Last year, officials estimated the cost at $10 million to $15 million. Tenfold is now in the process of scaling back the scope to reduce that amount, Nauman said.

A new budget hasn’t been finalized, but the major components of the overhaul, including the HVAC, have to be done soon, she and Steffy said.

“It sounds like the full $1 million is required,” Commissioner Josh Parsons said. Accordingly, with Yoder and Commissioner Ray D’Agostino signaling their support, Parsons directed Deputy Chief Clerk to prepare a resolution authorizing it on the agenda for discussion next Tuesday and a vote Wednesday, Feb. 28.

That would bring total Round 2 allocations to $4.85 million, leaving $1.15 million to go. The discussion of further allocations will continue at next Tuesday’s work session, Parsons said.