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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Potter County: Team Effort To Fairly Distribute Bridge Repair Funds

A work group comprised of the Potter County Commissioners, representatives of the Potter County Association of Township Officials and Potter County Planning Department convened to review applications for funding to support bridge repairs. As a result of the meeting, the team proposed awarding a $40,000 grant for the Atkins East Bridge rehabilitation in Roulette Township, and $20,000 for the Erickson Road Bridge rehabilitation project in Ulysses Township.
Each year, the commissioners invite townships and boroughs to apply for a share of the Pa. Act 13 Bridge Improvement Restricted Use Fund received by Potter County through a state fee on shale gas wells. Under Act 13, county commissioners have the authority to distribute the funds as they see fit, as long as they address at-risk bridges. Commissioners Doug Morley, Susan Kefover and Paul Heimel instead developed a system whereby the money is expended according to an evaluation/ranking framework to address the most critical needs, as reported by township supervisors and borough councils. Some other counties have adopted the Potter County system as a model. Under Act 13, Potter County receives $40,000 annually in the Restricted Use Fund.