Dubois-Sandy Twp receive $200,000 grant for consolidation

Local News

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Since residents of the City of DuBois and Sandy Township voted yes on consolidation in November’s municipal election, the city and township have been working towards consolidating the two into one entity. The process is a long one with many steps to it, and costs as well.

Earlier this week, the municipalities received a grant to help with some of that. The township and city received a $200,000 grant through the strategic management planning program from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCEP). Funds that Shawn Arbaugh, Sandy Township’s manager said will prove vital in this consolidation process.

“One of the concerns a lot of our residents had, and our supervisors had is how much is it going to cost us to actually go through a consolidation process,” Arbaugh said. “We were very concerned about where the money was going to come from to help us.”

The entire consolidation process could take up to five years. And he said it could cost more than $1 million. This is why grants like these are so important.

The $200,000 will be used to hire a consultant to work with both sides through this long process.

“Make sure we’re doing things correctly. Review our financials, that’s going to be a big part of it. Establishing that initial budget for year one with a consolidated entity,” Arbaugh said.

The consultant will set up budgets for the first year of operations. And will also help walk the two sides through a number of other strategical planning processes, including setting up costs for tax, sewer, and water rates. They will also play a part in determining who the governing body of the future City of DuBois will be.

“What is that elected body going to look like. When do they get elected? How does that all work? So that’s going to be really helpful having them on board to walk us through that process,” Arbaugh said.

Additionally, being accepted into the strategic management planning program could pay further dividends down the line, as it will allow the municipalities to have easier access to other grants and opportunities since they have already been accepted into this strategic management planning program.

“We’ll be able to apply for additional rounds of funding down the road since now we’re in the program to help us continue that consolidation effort,” Arbaugh said.

As this consolidation process continues to move forward, the next step is the two municipalities coming together next month for a public meeting on the budgeting for consolidation. That meeting will take place on January 12 at 6 p.m. at the City of DuBois municipal building.

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