Update, Nov. 16: At its Tuesday, Nov. 14, meeting, City Council approved submitting all nine Local Share Account grant applications to the state for consideration.
Lancaster city is poised to seek a little over $11.6 million in state grants for construction and renovation projects on behalf of itself and 16 nonprofits.
Last month, City Council signed off on eight nonprofits’ applications to Pennsylvania’s Local Share Account program. Eight more nonprofits made their case at council’s committee meeting Monday, as did the city’s Department of Public Works. City Council will vote on those nine this coming Tuesday, Nov. 14.
- Related: City agrees to apply for state grants on nonprofits’ behalf (update)
- Related: Lancaster Rec advances its plans to make Price Elementary a community center
The eight applications reviewed in October totaled $5.5 million in requested grants. The nine reviewed Monday totaled an additional $6.14 million.
Funded with gaming revenue, the Local Share Account Program provides money for projects that improve communities’ quality of life. Nonprofits are eligible for support, but must apply through a municipality, which serves as a “pass-through” for funding.
The deadline to apply is Nov. 30. Applicants can ask for up to $1 million, and can receive all, some or none of their request. Last year, the program awarded more than $260 million statewide. More than $200 million is expected to be available this year as well, the city says.
The nine projects discussed Monday are as follows:
• City of Lancaster Department of Public Works: $1 million to support its Sidewalk Repair Program. The city is trying to coordinate sidewalk repairs, which are billed to adjacent property owners, with its street repaving program. Because sidewalk repairs are costly, the Sidewalk Repair Program allows property owners to pay over time rather than all at once, with payment periods ranging from a few months to as long as 20 years. The structure creates a near-term cash flow shortfall for the city, which needs to pay its contractors in full and on time for completed work; the $1 million would give it the funds to make those payments and keep the program working as planned, Public Works Director Stephen Campbell said.
• Ebenezer Baptist Church: $146,000 for various church renovations, including elevator repair ($91,000), addition of unisex accessible restrooms ($25,000) and door repairs and security upgrades ($30,000).
• Lancaster County Food Hub:
$521,000 $557,700 to put toward renovation of 5,000 square feet on the second floor of the Food Hub’s headquarters at 812 N. Queen St. Planned work includes a handicap-accessible elevator, restrooms and a fire-safe stairwell. The added space will allow the Food Hub to offer an on-site low-barrier overnight shelter and expand its low-barrier day shelter, food bank and clothing bank. The expansion is being planned with the nonprofit’s partners, Executive Director Paige McFarling said, including Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the overnight shelter managed by the Food Hub is located; and the Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition; and will not duplicate services. (Update, Nov. 16: McFarling said at council’s committee meeting that the Food Hub would seek $521,000; the resolution passed Nov. 14, however, specified $577,700.)
• Lancaster Rec: $1 million for the nonprofit’s planned renovation of Price Elementary School into a community center. (See related article.)
• The Mix: $278,000 for various renovations, including HVAC, security upgrades and installation of energy-efficient interior and exterior lighting.
• SACA Development Corp.: $1 million toward the expansion of Nuestra Clinica, the Spanish American Civic Association’s drug and alcohol residential treatment facility at 50 E. New St. SACA Development bought the building next door, 630 N. Duke St., for $425,000, and plans to consolidate and interconnect the two buildings, increasing Nuestra Clinica’s capacity from 26 beds to 40 beds and adding a kitchen and dining room. The project is budgeted at $3.7 million, CEO Jose Lopez said. Nuestra Clinica has been operating at capacity and needs to expand, he said; the plan includes adding a bilingual English-Spanish track to supplement the existing Spanish-language services, he said.
• Tenfold: $1 million toward the top-to-bottom renovation of the Transitional Living Center, Tenfold’s 52-unit short-term shelter at 105 E. King St. The work is “desperately needed,” Senior Campaign Director Phyllis Stacks said, and is budgeted at $10 million to $15 million. The project timeline is contingent on fundraising, she said; Tenfold hopes to start by the end of 2024. The TLC project previously received $250,000 from the Local Share Account program and has also been approved for city American Rescue Plan Act and City Revitalization & Improvement Zone grants.
• Union Community Care: $500,000 toward the first phase of renovation at the Groff Event Center, 234 W. Orange St. which the healthcare nonprofit is converting into its administrative headquarters and a community health center. Phase 1 covers the administrative offices: It is budgeted at $5 million and slated to start early in 2024 and wrap up by the end of the year, CEO Alisa Jones said. Union Community Care is hoping to have the second phase, the medical offices, completed by the end of 2026; the budget for that component remains to be determined, she said.
• YWCA Lancaster: $694,776 to construct a new entrance under the steps on the south facade of YWCA Lancaster’s 110 N. Lime St. headquarters, providing secure, handicap-accessible access to the nonprofit’s relocated Sexual Assault Prevention & Counseling Center. The entrance is part of YWCA Lancaster’s YForward expansion project, which includes the relocation of the center, installation of a handicap-accessible elevator and renovation and expansion of the Kepler Hall residential units. In all, YForward is budgeted at about $14 million, spokesman Aaron Spangler said. It previously received $1 million from the Local Share Account program to put toward the residential component. In addition, it has received city and county ARPA funding, state PHARE funding and federal HOME-ARP funding awarded through the city-county HOME partnership.
Two other nonprofits had planned to apply to the Local Share Account program, but withdrew before Monday’s meeting: Community Action Partnership, which had been looking at seeking $400,000 to put toward renovation of Bridge House, its Domestic Violence Services’ transitional housing complex; and Church World Service, which had anticipated seeking $1 million for a new headquarters.