Easton Council gives go-ahead to apply for water mitigation, park improvement grants
EASTON, Pa. — Easton City Council approved two resolutions that will go toward improving the city's waterways and Centennial Park.
Between a resolution aimed at flood mitigation and another dedicated to improving the Centennial Park, the grants approved Wednesday add up to $415,000, plus $115,000 in matched contributions from the city.
- Easton City Council on Wednesday approved two proposals to allow for grant applications
- The DCED Flood Mitigation Grant, worth $365,000, will help to alleviate some of the sediment runoff that runs into the Lehigh River
- The Grow NORCO Grant, worth $50,000, will go toward repairing a basketball court and replacing playground equipment at Centennial Park
Both measures were introduced by Councilman David O’Connell, and granted permission to the city Department of Community and Economic Development to apply for the funds.
Council first approved a resolution letting the city’s DCED apply for a state-level DCED Flood Mitigation Grant Program worth $365,000.
As part of the deal, the city will provide a match of $65,000 from the City of Easton Stormwater Fund.
Grant aims to reduce runoff into Lehigh
According to the resolution, the project will include stream stabilization and bridge stabilization to meet requirements for the municipal separate storm sewer systems, or MS4s, permit.
The state Department of Environmental Protection notes “municipalities and other entities such as universities and prisons that meet certain standards must obtain [National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] permit coverage for discharges of stormwater from their MS4s."
Across Pennsylvania, there are two large MS4s and 1,059 small MS4s.
“It’s a waste gate on the Lehigh Canal, a little east from Hugh Moore [Historical Park], and it's a waste gate we use to control water levels in the canal."Patrick Hunt, grant administrator
Grant administrator Patrick Hunt said the city has previously applied for funding for such projects, and this grant will help meet the MS4 permit requirements.
“It’s a waste gate on the Lehigh Canal, a little east from Hugh Moore [Historical Park], and it's a waste gate we use to control water levels in the canal," Hunt said.
"Then it runs kind of downslope into the Lehigh River. So we're going to do some stream stabilization there to reduce sediment runoff into the Lehigh."
Replacing playground equipment
Council also approved a resolution for the city DCED to apply for the Grow NORCO Grant Program from Northampton County for $50,000.
The city will provide a match of $50,000 from the previously awarded 2021 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants.
“So we're going to redo the basketball courts, completely repave the basketball courts and provide new playground equipment. We are determining other uses of the park now that it is larger, but for the existing part. The grant is specifically for the playground equipment and the basketball courts."Easton grant administrator Patrick Hunt
According to the resolution, also introduced by O’Connell, the grant will help fund renovations to the basketball courts and new playground equipment at the West Ward’s Centennial Park.
Northampton County’s website notes the Grow NORCO Program “is designed to be a flexible source of capital that will assist Northampton County municipalities and not-for-profit organizations grow Northampton County’s economic prosperity and quality of life.”
Applications for the upcoming round of grants are due by 4 p.m. Friday, June 2.
Hunt said the city has some existing funds available for the park, which will help in the mission to sprue up the space.
“So we're going to redo the basketball courts, completely repave the basketball courts and provide new playground equipment," Hunt said.
"We are determining other uses of the park now that it is larger, but for the existing part. The grant is specifically for the playground equipment and the basketball courts."