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Clarion County Coalition Could Hire Veteran Grant Submission Firm

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

D75404DA-5685-499E-9FB0-D3769D75C39A_1_201_aCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioner Ted Tharan is attempting to build a coalition of county municipalities and economic groups to fund the hiring of a leading economic development company to help secure grants for Clarion County, and they’re talking about a heavy hitter in the grant preparation field.

(PHOTO: Ted Tharan displays a spreadsheet of the various grant applications being processed by Delta Development, along with a timeline.)

Tharan, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Heasley – at the invitation of State Representative Donna Oberlander – met with LeRoy D. Kline, Jr, President, and CEO of Delta Development headquartered in Mechanicsburg. Kline is also a graduate of Clarion University.

Delta Development was used by the Clarion County YMCA to secure state grants for the construction of the new facility in addition to fundraising efforts.

“They know how to get the grants through Harrisburg and D.C.,” said Tharan. “That’s what they do for a living. So, if we were to hire a qualified 100 percent grant writer at the county, we would spend 60 to 80 thousand dollars, and if you figure salary and benefits and put them on board and do nothing but write grants, would they know where all these grants are and have the connections in Harrisburg to get them through? … It’s much easier to get grants through now with Donna Oberlander’s position in leadership.”

For example, a listing shows grant results by Clarion County, Jefferson County, Butler County, and Lycoming County total for the last five years from 2014-18. Clarion County received $1.84 million in grants. Jefferson County had $3.9 million, and Butler County $70 million.

“Delta Development does Butler County’s grants,” said Tharan. “Delta Development, also does Lycoming County, and they got $46 million in the last five years. Clarion County doesn’t use Delta, and they’ve only got $1.8 million, and that was like the RACP money and that type of funding.”

A coalition would hopefully involve Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, the boroughs, the townships, and get everyone working as one unit.

“Why not concentrate on that stuff for the next four years?” asks Tharan. “Have them (Delta) work for everybody, and getting these grants for roads or bridges, entrance ways for street liners. There are just tons of things that they can write grants for, which is the backbone of Economic Development.

“You have to have your infrastructure in there to attract anybody in. You can get sewage grants, water grants. It could help out Clarion Borough for storm water management. If they could start getting millions of grants, the locals wouldn’t have to put in as much money and just the match money.

“We’ve had the discussion with them, and Donna had a meeting with Clarion Borough here, and she invited us to go and sit in and listen to it again. There’s a small water and sewer project if we want to try to get the sewage out to Exit 8, then these people are the ones that can help us.”

How much would it cost?

“They want $90,000.00 to do the entire county,” continues Tharan. “If we can get everybody together, then that brings everybody’s initial fee down. But how much are we already spending on economic development? And what kind of results have we had?

“If we don’t try it, we’ll never know. We haven’t delved into what money we can use for this, but we did put money aside in next year’s budget just in case we decide to go with this. But, we haven’t decided anything yet. We need a coalition.

“If there are roads and bridges in the townships that need to be redone, the townships can try and have them do that.

“I’ve already talked to Industrial Development. I think they’re on board. I think this month or next month we’re going to meet with economic development. Everybody that’s seen it is just so excited because of the potential. If everybody can collectively spend $90,000.00 and they write one grant for $100,000.00. You’ve got your money back.”

Delta Development Group is a leading consulting firm specializing in community planning, economic development, and disaster preparedness.

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Delta specializes in community planning and funding strategies with a core focus on economic growth. With a multidisciplinary staff, the group also offer expertise in disaster preparedness, transit services, and government relations.

For more information, visit https://www.deltaone.com.


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