Carlisle council OKs plan to renovate West High properties

From the Sentinel:

A Carlisle company has received the go-ahead from council to redevelop two properties in the 100 block of West High Street.

Council approved a land development plan to expand retail space from 115 to 119 W. High St. and renovate the Seras building at 113 W. High St. A property at 117 W. High St. will also be renovated.

Two commercial properties and nine apartments above the first floor and at the rear of the property will be rehabilitated. The apartments will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units.

“I’m elated to finally get this started,” said Steve Capone, a borough resident and owner of Carlisle High Street Properties. I’m glad it’s finally the time to start some construction.”

Council approved the plan with a 7-0 vote Thursday.

Regional council

Also during the meeting, council voted 7-0 to join the Capital Region Council of Governments, a collective of 39 other municipal governments in the Harrisburg area.

By joining, the borough will gain power of purchasing in bulk.

Council President Sean Shultz had estimated the borough will save $15,000 to $20,000 per year on bid items for infrastructure, such as roads and parks.

The borough can participate in bids for items as needed, said Borough Manager Steve Hietsch.

The borough’s membership will be for a two-year term that will automatically be renewed. If the borough does decide to leave the CapCOG, it would have to wait until a term is up before it can pull out.

Block grants

Though the final figures aren’t in yet, council voted 7-0 to approve the preliminary 2011 Community Development Block Grant budget.

It’s estimated the borough will receive less money than it did last year, Councilman Tim Scott said in an e-mail prior to the meeting.

The CDBG draft budget is estimated at $427,139, a 7.5 percent decrease from last year’s allocation of $461,772.

“It should be stressed that this is an estimate given the fact that we normally do not have final figures until late spring,” Scott said.

CDBG money is to be used to fund a wide range of community development needs.

Since 2000, $447,333 went to Carlisle businesses in the form of low-interest loans.

The money also has provided for more than $294,835 in grants for downtown commercial facades since 2002 and, from 1999 to last year, provided more than $797,000 to assist 54 households in the Pride neighborhoods, Scott said.

“The CDBG Program has been a cornerstone for community and economic development in Carlisle,” he said. “One only needs to look at the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to see the impact.”

Full article here