"The state calls it the New Communities Program," Paul Cullinane, president of Downtown Chambersburg, Inc., says of the funding source for two redevelopment programs he supervises.
Both facelift funds - the Main Street Program and its geographically contiguous counterpart, the Elm Street Program - leverage private investment and are offered for boroughs renewal by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
"It's kind of a utopian concept of the ideal neighborhood with tree-lined streets, green spaces, sidewalks, grocery stores and linkages where children can ride bicycles and walk to school," Paul
For three years now, the $300,000-a-year program has channeled renewal money into the Southgate neighborhood and is working toward that utopian goal through sidewalk and siding improvements, roof work and home rehabilitation.
"The unknown in all of this is whether there will be state funding next year," says Paul
of the programs that are expected eventually to become self-sustaining.