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February 5, 2014

Commissioners dole out more shale funds

NEW CASTLE — Three local organizations will benefit from Lawrence County’s Marcellus Shale funds.

The commissioners Tuesday agreed to give $12,500 to Feed My Sheep Outreach Ministries on Sciota Street to help the organization with facility improvements.

Another $1,750 will go to the Ellwood City Family Center, a health club at 533 Wampum Ave., also for facility improvements.

They also have pledged $20,000 to Ellwood City for Town Center Associates, which is creating a development plan for attracting business to Lawrence Avenue.

County administrator James Gagliano said the county received a total of $153,109 for 2011 and 2012.

The funds arrive a year behind the current calendar year, he said, and the 2013 allocation is expected by June or July. He said he does not know yet how much that will be.

The commissioners approved other allocations last year and this year from the original pot of money. The organizations and their allotments are:

•The Lawrence County Agriculture Preservation Board, for purchase of agriculture land easements, $8,200

•Shenango Township, $10,000 for updating its comprehensive plan

•United Way, $5,000 to help fund the 211 program

•New Visions, $10,000 for upgrades to downtown New Castle

•Wampum Revitalization Committee, $28,678

•Union Township, $15,000 in 2012 and $10,813 for 2013 for maintaining the Stavich Bike Trail

•Plain Grove Township, $10,000 for building a pavilion

•Lawrence County Foundation, $7,500 for the opening of the Mocha House as a community service project in Bessemer

•Neighborhood Legal Services, $15,000, to help the lawyer service pay its rent this year

According to Gagliano, there is less than $12,000 remaining before the county receives its 2013 share this summer, but it still has $56,000 in requests for funding.

The money was provided to counties by the state Legislature from fees paid by companies drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale layers.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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