LSA Grant Sought Financing Camps for Youth from Across Nation at Former St Mary's Site
(Nov 12 2019, Mount Pocono) In a letter dated November 6, but not delivered to the Borough until the afternoon of November 12, the day before the Public Hearing, it was revealed that the proposed new owners of the former St Mary's church & rectory are seeking over $800,000 of county share of casino funds to finance new construction and renovation at the site on Fairview Avenue. The letter, from Chuck Leonard, Executive Director of the Monroe County Industrial Authority, revealed that the industrial authority submitted the application and provided a portion of it to the Council. The application is for funds from the Monroe County "Local Share Account", or "LSA". These are the moneys generated from Casino levies and intended to benefit the local communities. Monroe County is the only County in the state forced to share its LSA proceeds with neighboring counties.
The letter does not state when the application was submitted. However, the 2019 deadline for LSA applications like this was September 30. The excerpt from the application states that some access to the premises will be available to students "in the greater Mount Pocono area". The excerpt does not specify what portion of the programs will be made available, the times they will be made available to local students, nor the terms for the acceptance and provision of such programs to local youth. It does go on to refer to numerous specific camp programs which import youth from other areas to the Fairview Avenue facilities. Hoop International says it will bring in "youth from across the nation and world" to attend "camps" to be housed in the renovated St Mary's church, rectory, and the planned new construction. No information is provided on the nature of the renovations, nor the extent or purpose of the new construction. As we previously reported, exclusively, Hoops International filed a Petition for Zoning Change last month. The Council set a hearing on the petition for Wednesday, November 13, at 6 pm. The public is entitled to attend and speak in support or opposition to the petition. The Public Hearing Agenda is now available.
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