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Carlisle to apply for grant for urban redevelopment project

The Carlisle Borough Council is seeking more funds for Carlisle’s ongoing urban development project.

The borough council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday night allowing borough staff to apply for a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Multimodal Grant for $1.8 million from the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The money would be used for the Carlisle Connectivity Project.

The total grant application process involves the borough proposing matching funds of 30 percent, or $774,300. Application deadline is July 31 to meet an application review by the Commonwealth Financing Authority on Nov. 10.

Multimodal Transportation Fund grants are intended to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe, reliable transportation system is available for Pennsylvania residents, according to the DCED’s website.

Permitted uses for the Multimodal funds include the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, as well as the connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development.

Carlisle’s urban development plan was approved by the borough council in late 2013 and involves the redevelopment of three former industrial sites: the former IAC/Lear plant, the former Carlisle Tire and Wheel and the former Tyco Electronics sites.

Proposed borough infrastructure projects include:

  • A roundabout at College and B streets as part of a B street extension that will reconnect the new development into the existing neighborhood
  • A mini-roundabout and multi-use trail at B Street and Fairground Avenue
  • Improvement of Fairground Avenue from Penn Street to B Street as a two-way complete street
  • Realignment of the intersection of North Hanover Street and Route 34/Carlisle Springs Road

The borough also plans a proposed roundabout on North Hanover Street to realign the intersection at Fairground Avenue and Penn and North Hanover street.

In other news, the borough council agreed to appoint a borough representative to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee.

Although council members didn’t name a specific person to the post on Thursday, council President Perry Health said after the meeting that Borough Finance Director Owen Snyder will most likely fill the position.

In May, the council agreed for the borough to apply for a $12.1 million federal grant that will help fund ongoing plans for urban redevelopment. At the same time, council members also agreed to commit up to $8 million in matching funds for the proposed grant, with plans to obtain the money from a planned TIF strategy.

Perry and borough bond counsel John Cox offered a brief presentation Thursday about the TIF process that recently was presented to the Carlisle Area School Board and the Cumberland County commissioners. The school district and county also would be participants in the TIF program.

The next steps of the TIF process, Perry and Cox explained, is to conduct a feasibility study and financial analysis to pinpoint definite costs for the urban development project, which currently is estimated to total around $50 million.

Before a TIF Plan Agreement can be finalized, the parties involved would need to repeal the Local Revitalization Tax Act, or LERTA, that the school board approved for the Lear/IAC site in November 2012. LERTA is a tax break incentive intended to encourage development by phasing in the tax burden on new construction gradually over a period of years.

The article was posted on Cumberlink.com on July 7, 2015.

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