Lancaster County received a Community Development Block Grant from the Village Renaissance Program for the Brooklyn Avenue Revitalization Project. This project takes place in the Brooklyn Avenue area, which is outside the City of Lancaster, in Lancaster County. The area was a former mill village for the Lancaster Mill. The mill was established in 1896 and the neighborhood was once a thriving community. Over the years, the area has become distressed and dilapidated, primarily due to the closing of the mill. There has been a steady decline in the condition of the housing; poor road and sidewalk conditions; deterioration of the water and sewer infrastructure; overgrown lots and burned out houses; and a large increase in criminal activities.
Lancaster County completed The Brooklyn Avenue Neighborhood Study in 2006 that identified deficiencies in the area and outlined activities to address the problems. The county then applied for CDBG funds for the Brooklyn Avenue Revitalization Project, which involved the following activities:
- Street lighting
- Sidewalk construction
- American with Disabilities Act improvements at street crosswalks
- Water line construction
- Demolition of 20 vacant and dilapidated structures
- Clean-up of 6 properties
- Improvements to the Lancaster Mill Administration Building in order to locate substations for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and the Lancaster City Police Department.
The total project cost is $654,055, with $500,000 being provided by CDBG funds and $154,055 being provided by local funds. The beneficiaries are the 683 residents of the Brooklyn Avenue Neighborhood, 510 of whom are low and moderate income.