About the Department
The Office of Community Planning and Grants acts as the administrative agency for the Bradford County Planning Commission under the direction of the Bradford County Commissioners. The Office currently retains a seven member staff that includes the Planning Director, County Planner, Geographic Information Systems Coordinator, Community Planner, CDBG/Housing Rehabilitation Coordinator, CDBG/Housing Rehabilitation Assistant and Administrative Assistant. In 1996, the Bradford County Commissioners officially joined County Planning Staff with Community Development Block Grant staff to make it a planning and community development office. All staff plays a significant role in providing community development and planning services to a host of individuals that include developers, landowners, state and regional agencies and township supervisors and borough councils.
The department also retains two staff members that administer the Community Development Block Grant program and the Housing Rehabilitation Program. Community Development Block Grants are provided to assist in the development of viable communities through decent housing and a suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. The Bradford County Commissioners apply for and receive Community Development Block Grant funds each year for allocation among "non-entitlement communities". Administrative responsibilities associated with CDBG are administered by the Bradford County Office of Community Planning and Grants and managed by the CDBG/Housing Rehabilitation Coordinator. Projects eligible for funding include rehabilitation of historic structures, handicap accessibility to public buildings, economic development projects, public infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, park facilities and recreation centers, just to name a few. The Housing Rehabilitation Program is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners with the rehabilitation of their homes. Bradford County residents who are income eligible, single-family, owner-occupants (with name on a deed or title), and taxes paid to date and retain homeowners insurance, may qualify for housing rehabilitation grants of up to $ 20,000.00 per household. Geographic Information Systems are an integral component to proper planning and development. The Office houses a full database of mapping layers that consist of digital floodplain, land use, tax parcels, municipal boundaries, zoning districts, streams, road names, etc. Both paper and digital versions of GIS layers are available upon request. The Planning and Grants staff also utilizes 2005 Orthophotography as a base for virtually the entire department's mapping initiatives.
The office of planning and grants offers the following services to county residents, GIS Mapping and Database Development, Subdivision and land development review, comprehensive plan and planning ordinance development, transportation project prioritization, county bridge inspection and replacement program, county recreation initiatives, housing rehabilitation for low to moderate income homeowners, community development block grant administration, and municipal agricultural security area database.
Ray Stolinas is the director of the Bradford County Office of Community Planning & Grants and the Bradford County Planning Commission. In 1991, Mr. Stolinas graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography with a concentration of Cartography, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems. Mr. Stolinas gained an interest in the planning field in the summer of 1990 when he interned for the City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Planning and Zoning. In 1991, he was hired as the County Planner for Bradford County and reviewed Subdivision and Land Development Applications under the County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
In March of 1993, the Bradford County Commissioners hired Mr. Stolinas as the Bradford County Planning Director. Since his hire, he has managed and coordinated the development of the 2003 County Subdivision and Land Development Regulations, 2004 County Comprehensive Plan, 2005 County Natural Diversity Inventory and 2006 County Open Space, Greenway and Outdoor Recreation Plan.