Blake Announces Over $1.8 Million in Regional Grant Funding

HARRISBURG, September 18, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced $1.8 million in state grants for 13 projects throughout the 22nd Senatorial District.

The grant funding was approved earlier today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) and was awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development under the Small Water and Sewer Program; Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program; and the Flood Mitigation Program.

“State investments are critically important to our regional economy, to the continued maintenance of our public infrastructure and to the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents,” Blake said. “The $1.8 million in grants announced today will allow our local municipalities to complete important sewer projects, enhance recreational opportunities and improve flood protection. I applaud our borough and township officials for their work in securing these competitive state investments.”

The largest area grants were awarded through the Small Water and Sewer program which provides grants to municipalities to assist with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply or sanitary sewer system.

The following NEPA projects received funding through the Small Water and Sewer Program:

  • The Covington Township Sewer Authority received $381,480 for the purchase of screening equipment
  • The Roaring Brook Township Sewer Authority received $247,282 to make upgrades to their system.
  • Clarks Green Borough received $200,000 to complete a sanitary sewer line investigation for the portions of their sanitary sewer system that have not already been evaluated and to rehabilitate sections of the sanitary system that require repairs.
  • Vandling Borough received $160,000 to complete the Peterlin Road sewer project.
  • Throop Borough received $150,000 to make sewer improvements along Pearl Street.
  • Blakely Borough received $150,000 for their S. Pleasant Ave. Sanitary Sewer Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.
  • Avoca Borough received $131,750 to replace the sanitary sewer on Wood Street from McAlpine Street to School Street in the borough
  • Dickson City Borough received $88,212 for their Dundaff Street project.
  • Waverly Township received $42,616 for their pump station #2 replacement project.

Three projects in Lackawanna County received funding through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.  This program was funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund established by Act 13 of 2012 and allocates funds for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. A 15% match of the total project cost is required.

The following Lackawanna County projects received Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant funding:

  • Lackawanna County received $80,534 to complete phase two of the Scranton Veterans Memorial Park that will include the construction of a monument bearing the names of close to 1,000 veterans from Scranton.
  • The William Prescott Parent Teacher Association received $75,000 for the installation of a new playground and fencing at the elementary school in Scranton
  • Jermyn Borough received $42,466 to complete significant rehabilitation of the heavily-used gymnasium floor at the Jermyn Community Center

Lastly, Mayfield Borough received $52,078 through the Flood Mitigation Program to complete debris removal, repair and video inspection of the borough’s flood control levee system.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  The CFA consists of seven Board members: four legislative appointees and the secretaries of DCED, the Office of the Budget and Department of Banking and Securities. Project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from legislative appointees.

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Blake Announces Nearly $2 Million in Regional Grant Funding

HARRISBURG, November 14, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced nearly $2 million in state grants for 11 projects throughout the 22nd Senatorial District.

The grant funding was approved earlier today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) and was awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development under the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program; Sewage Facilities Program and the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

“The investment of $2 million in our regional economy to support critically important infrastructure and safety projects as well as much-needed recreation projects is wonderful news for communities across Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Blake said. “I applaud our borough officials for their work to secure these competitive state investments and for their continued dedication to improving the quality of life and the safety of our transportation infrastructure for our residents.”

The largest area grants were awarded through the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund which provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.

The following NEPA projects received multimodal funding:

  • Lackawanna County received $505,367 to pave a 1.2-mile section of Stauffer Road at the Stauffer Industrial Park in Taylor Borough.
  • Pittston Township received $453,229 for improvements to Freeport Road.
  • Covington Township received $229,425 for the Langan Road bridge/culvert improvement project.
  • Archbald Borough received $205,000 to make pedestrian safety improvements along Kennedy Drive, Columbus Drive and Main Street in the borough.
  • Blakely Borough received $200,000 to fund a streetscape project in the Peckville business district.
  • The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority received $70,000 for preliminary and final engineering design associated with the downtown connector as part of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail located in the City of Scranton.

Four projects in Lackawanna County received funding through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.  This program was funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund established by Act 13 of 2012 and allocates funds for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. A 15% match of the total project cost is required.

The following Lackawanna County projects received Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant funding:

  • The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority received $100,000 Scranton Marvine Connector project along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.
  • Taylor Borough received $95,245 for the construction of a splash park at Derenick Park off of Union Street in the borough.
  • Greenfield Township received $85,737 for the Greenfield Municipal Veterans Memorial Recreation Park.
  • The U.S. Ecological Advanced Research and Conservation Hub received $27,200 for the Riverwalk Amphitheater Planning Project in Mayfield.

Lastly, the Covington Township Sewer Authority received $18,147 through the Sewage Facilities Program for the expansion of the Covington Treatment Plant. The Sewage Facilities Program is also funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund and requires a 50% match of the total project cost.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  The CFA consists of seven Board members: four legislative appointees and the secretaries of DCED, the Office of the Budget and Department of Banking and Securities. Project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from legislative appointees.

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Blake Announces $ 1.2 Million in Multimodal Grant Funding for District Projects

HARRISBURG, December 6, 2016 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that three Lackawanna County projects will receive $1.2 million in grant funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

The funding, approved earlier today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), is slated for projects at Keystone College, the University of Scranton and in Covington Township.

“Both the University of Scranton and Keystone College have been making incredible improvements to their respective campuses in recent years and these state investments will allow these institutions to continue to pursue their visions and ultimately, attract more students to Lackawanna County,” Blake said. “In Covington Township, the improvements to Bochicchio Boulevard are long overdue and this state funding will allow for the necessary improvements to this main thoroughfare to North Pocono High School.”

Keystone College will receive $456,660 for the construction of a pedestrian walkway and to make a number of pedestrian safety improvements on the campus in La Plume Township. The University of Scranton will receive $404,086 to complete Phase 3 of their pedestrian circulation improvement project in the center of campus. Lastly, Covington Township will receive $339,254 to make stormwater and roadway improvements on Bochicchio Boulevard.

The Multimodal Transportation Fund, through the CFA, provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.

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Blake: Over $5 Million in Grant Funding Approved for District Projects

HARRISBURG, July 1, 2016 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced more than $5 million in state grant funding for projects throughout the 22nd Senatorial District.

The funding, approved earlier today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), includes over $3.3 million in grants to Lackawanna County projects in the form Local Share Account funding; CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund grants; and Act 13 funding.

“Each of these grants is a very important state investment into our communities and regional economy that will create jobs, enhance the quality of life and improve public safety,” Blake said. “Through gaming revenues, an impact fee on drilling and our Act 89 reforms, we have been able to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into our communities and make positive, long-term impacts across the Commonwealth.”

Blake said that he worked closely with state Reps. Mike Carroll, Sid Michaels Kavulich and Marty Flynn to maximize funding opportunities for regional municipalities and organizations.

The majority of the grants approved today were through the Monroe County Local Share Account. Blake noted that LSA funds may be used for economic development, community development and public interest projects in Monroe County and its contiguous counties, which include Carbon, Lackawanna, Northampton, Pike and Wayne.

The following Lackawanna County economic development projects received funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account:

  • The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO) received $200,000 for renovations to the Scranton Enterprise Center. Currently, the Scranton Enterprise Center has 19 companies with 112 employees; it is anticipated that 10 new companies will occupy the facility and create 100 new, full-time jobs.
  • The Friendship House received $100,000 to complete a number of facility renovations at their Scranton location. The project will result in the creation of 8 permanent, full-time jobs.

The following Lackawanna County community improvement projects received funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account:

  • The City of Scranton received $250,000 to convert the Serrenti Memorial Army Reserve Center into an Emergency Services Center which will be a secondary location for government operations and become a central location for multiple law enforcement operations.
  • Dimes from Heaven Foundation received $150,000 to renovate an existing school building to serve as a community center in Fell Township.
  • The Lackawanna County Land Bank received $160,000 for the creation of a land bank authority and its operating costs.
  • Waverly Township received $91,000 for the replacement of a parking lot at the Waverly Community House.
  • The Co-Operative Farmers Market received $83,140 for renovations to the market in Scranton.
  • Old Forge Lions Little League received $77,100 for the demolition and construction of field lights at the Miles Street Sports Complex.
  • The Lackawanna County Parks Department received $51,590 for the purchase of routine park maintenance equipment.
  • Jermyn Borough received $50,000 to make a number of improvements at the municipal building.
  • Taylor Borough received $30,000 to complete the financing necessary for the construction of a splash park.
  • Dunmore Borough received $28,010 for improvements and repairs to the walking trail around the border of Dunmore School District.

The following Lackawanna County public interest projects received funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account:

  • Spring Brook Township received $412,000 for the construction of a municipal garage adjacent to the current DPW building.
  • Elmhurst Township received $130,000 for the purchase of a 2016 Ford Super Duty F-550 DRW truck, snow plow, salt spreader, and skid steer to maintain township roads.
  • Madison Township received $122,000 to fund new paving and shoulder backup to the existing Howe and Becks Crossing Roads.
  • The city of Scranton received $105,142 to supplement a 2014 LSA award for the purchase of an Aerial Platform Ladder Truck.
  • Clarks Summit Borough received $93,300 for the purchase of two SUV police cruisers to replace two aging police cruisers.
  • Archbald Borough received $45,000 for the purchase of two police vehicles.
  • Old Forge Borough received $40,000 to upgrade the police department’s Taser equipment and to purchase mobile tablets.
  • Vandling Borough received $25,000 for the purchase of a Kioti tractor.

In the Monroe County portion of the 22nd Senatorial District, five projects received a total of $800,000 in LSA grants. The following projects received funding:

  • The Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport Authority received $400,000 for the construction of two new buildings and the demolition of a third at the facility in Coolbaugh Township.
  • Arrowhead Sewer Company received $240,000 to complete a low-pressure sewer rehabilitation project in Coolbaugh Township.
  • The PA Northeast Regional Railroad Authority received $90,000 for the rehabilitation of the railroad trestle located at the Scranton Access Control Point at Tobyhanna Army Depot.
  • Pocono Mountain Regional Emergency Medical Services received $30,000 to purchase two automated chest compression devices.
  • Price Township received $20,000 for the purchase and installation of an emergency backup generator for the township municipal building.
  • Barrett Township Volunteer Fire Company received $20,000 for the purchase of a utility terrain vehicle, firelite transport and a carry-on trailer.

The lone recipient of LSA funding in the Luzerne County portion of the 22nd Senatorial District was the Casey Dental Institute, which received $150,000 to assist in the construction of a 10,000 square foot addition to the Pittston Township facility that will house a surgery and a special needs dental clinic.

Three Lackawanna County projects received funding through the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund, which include:

  • Crystal Window & Door Systems received $400,000 to renovate the presently uninhabited Corning plant in Benton Township to create a state-of-the-art window manufacturing and assembly facility. It is estimated that Crystal will create 519 new jobs in Benton Township.
  • Geisinger Clinic received $300,000 to complete Phase I of a streetscape project near Geisinger Community Medical Center in the city of Scranton.
  • Covington Township received $190,000 to pave Sanko Road in the township.

The Multimodal Transportation Fund, through the CFA, provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.

Lastly, the CFA approved funding for projects under Act 13 that include abandoned mine drainage abatement; abandoned well plugging; sewage treatment; greenways, trails and recreation; baseline water quality data; watershed restoration; and flood control.

The only recipient of Act 13 funding in Lackawanna County was Mister Mulch through the Flood Mitigation Program. Mister Mulch received $110,000 to construct a drainage system at their Dickson City Borough location.

In the Luzerne County portion of the 22nd District, Susquehanna Mining Solutions received $718,921 to through the Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program for the continuation of the AMD Treatment Facility Project in Duryea Borough. Also, Dupont Borough received $85,000 for in Flood Mitigation funds to make repairs to the Mill Creek Flood Protection Channel in the borough.

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CFA Awards $ 2.25 Million to Sen. Blake’s 22nd District

Flood control funding in Jermyn and Natural Gas Fueling Station in Lackawanna County along with other municipal projects.

SCRANTON, Oct. 21, 2014 – State Sen. John Blake’s advocacy helped secure $385,000 for a flood mitigation project in Jermyn Borough and nearly half a million dollars from the commonwealth to continue the remediation of the Old Forge borehole.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the latest round of investments in Blake’s 22nd Senatorial District. The CFA also green-lighted $1.25 million to help Constellation New Energy build a public access CNG fueling station, and another $125,000 for projects in Jefferson Township, Moscow Borough and at West Scranton High School.

“Today’s round of funding will allow us to take the next step in addressing one of the worst sources of pollution in the Lackawanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.” Blake said today following CFA’s approval of the new investments.

“Also, today’s announcement should bring reassurance to residents in flood-prone Jermyn Borough that much-needed flood control improvements will be implemented,” he said. Blake wanted to acknowledge members of the Northeast House Democratic delegation, all of whom were strong advocates for these funding awards. Blake also wanted to express thanks to the Lackawanna County commissioners for their support on behalf of Jermyn Borough.

The $492,821 grant to Susquehanna Mining Solutions will allow the company to begin baseline site work as it prepares to build its acid mine drainage treatment facility.

Iron oxide from the Old Forge borehole, which was drilled in 1962 to release water that had pooled in underground mines, has turned the Lackawanna River orange. The 80 million gallons of water it discharges each day into the river ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.

The $1.25 million Alternative and Clean Energy Program grant to Constellation New Energy will result in a compressed natural gas, or CNG, fueling station near interstates 81, 84 and 380.

Constellation is paying the balance of the cost of construction, or $1,875,884.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority also approved the following grants today:

  • $385,000 to Lackawanna County Commissioners for a flood mitigation project in Jermyn Borough,
  • $76,683 to Jefferson Township for the construction of walking and hiking trails for the community’s only publicly owned park,
  • $24,650 to the WSHS Courtyard Fund for a courtyard beautification project at West Scranton High School, and
  • $24,000 to Moscow Sewer Authority so it may update its Act 537 sewage facilities plan.

“When Rush Brook flooded in 2003, it damaged 70 homes and businesses,” Blake said. “The county’s $385,000 flood mitigation project will enable Jermyn Borough to undertake local project responsibilities that will enable the state to construct flood control improvements that will help keep Rush Brook in its banks and better protect Jermyn against storms.”

Flood protection will come from a new hybrid channel and concrete block wall. Five of the seven bridges along Rush Brook will also be replaced with box culverts and a levee will protect the low-lying area near River Street.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is an independent agency of the commonwealth that is designed to administer Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus packages. CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments.

CFA’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14 in Harrisburg.

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