Blake Encourages Local Schools to Apply for Safety and Security Grants

SCRANTON, September 12, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today encouraged local school districts to apply for funding through a new state grant program designed to improve school safety.

The new School Safety and Security Grant Program, which was created as part of the 2018-19 state budget, will provide $52.5 million in grant funding to school entities for programs that address safety and security.

“The safety of our students, our teachers and our schools is paramount and this grant funding will certainly improve the security of our learning environments,” Blake said.  “I encourage all of our school districts and educational institutions to take advantage of this new program that will significantly upgrade school safety programs and procedures across the Commonwealth.”

Blake noted that eligible uses of the grant funding include hiring of school security officers; purchase of security-related technology; safety and security assessments; implementation of violence prevention curricula; counseling services for students; and other programs and services that improve school safety and security.

Per the grant program, each school district that submits a justifiable application to improve school safety for an activity not already supported through other state of federal funding sources shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $25,000 annually. There is also competitive grant funding available in the program to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions.

All applications must be submitted electronically through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Egrants system PCCD’s Egrants no later than Friday, October 12. For more information on the grant program, visit School officials should contact the PCCD Egrants Help Desk at 717-787-5887 with any questions.

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Blake Announces Nearly $4 Million in PennDOT Grants for Lackawanna County Projects

SCRANTON, May 8, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that four Lackawanna County projects will receive nearly $4 million in grants through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program and Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside.

The funding was announced today by Governor Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards as part of a nearly $67 million investment in 82 projects across the Commonwealth.

“I applaud the Governor and Secretary Richards for their continued support of our region and their dedication to innovation and access to transportation alternatives and recreation,” Blake said. “The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail continues to be one of the strongest drivers of economic activity and the funding announced today will further strengthen its impact and connectivity between our local communities.” 

The following projects in Lackawanna County received grant funding:

  • The City of Scranton will receive $1 million to connect the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail to the Steamtown National Historic Site and downtown Scranton with a pedestrian bridge.
  • Dickson City will receive $991,110 for streetscaping, safety improvements and a bike path connecting to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.
  • Keystone College will receive $917,815 to provide pedestrians and bicyclists a safe route to travel along College Road and also connect to the seven miles of public trails in the area of the campus.
  • The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority will receive $200,000 to construct a 0.9 mile paved trail from Parker Street in Scranton to Boulevard Avenue in Dickson City – closing a major gap in the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. This funding supplements a $800,000 TA Set-Aside award from the Lackawanna and Luzerne Transportation Study MPO.

The TA Set-Aside provides funding for projects and activities defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation, trails that serve a transportation purpose, and safe routes to school projects.

Blake noted that PennDOT evaluated the applications and made selections of awards based on safety benefit; cost; readiness for implementation; statewide or regional significance; and the integration of land-use and transportation decision making.

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Blake Announces Nearly $3 Million in LSA Grants for District Projects

HARRISBURG, January 23, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced nearly $3 million dollars in state grants for important community and economic development projects throughout the 22nd Senatorial District.

The funding was approved earlier today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) and includes over $2.5 million in grants to projects in Lackawanna County from the state’s Local Share Account (LSA) program.

“These important and competitive state investments announced today touch every corner and community in our district to improve public safety, enhance recreation and support economic growth.” Blake said. “I applaud all of the local municipalities and nonprofit organizations for their work in attaining this funding and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to ensure that state investments continue to positively impact the quality of life in our communities and throughout our district.”

The grants approved today were through the Monroe County Local Share Account program. Blake noted that these LSA funds may be used for eligible and fundable projects in Monroe County and its contiguous counties, which include Carbon, Lackawanna, Northampton, Pike and Wayne.

In Lackawanna County, the following projects received grant funding through the Monroe Local Share Account:

  • Roaring Brook Township will receive $350,000 to complete paving of 2.6 miles along Gardner Road. This is a multi-municipal project affecting Elmhurst Twp. and Moscow Borough as well.
  • The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company will receive $250,000 to complete renovations and upgrades on the Scranton Enterprise Center on Lackawanna Ave. in Scranton.
  • Thornhurst Township will receive $225,000 to restore a vacant, historic building into a community center and to pave the adjacent parking lot.
  • Archbald Borough will receive $160,000 to complete Phase II of the Peggy Drive reconstruction project.
  • Jermyn Borough will receive $140,000 for sewer replacement and roadway construction to complete Phase I of the Woodlands Development Project.
  • Clifton Township will receive $120,000 to remove and repave the township’s existing municipal building parking lot.
  • The United Neighborhood Community Development Corporation will receive $120,000 for renovations to the South Side Bank Building to create a space for the South Scranton Women’s Business Incubator.
  • The Dunmore Little League will receive $100,000 to make renovations to the Little League field and purchase equipment.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania will receive $100,000 for the purchase of new vans and a handicapped accessible van to sustain their community based transportation services.
  • Ransom Township will receive $90,000 for the purchase and installation of a salt shed.
  • Jermyn Borough will receive $81,296 for the purchase of a new dump truck with a plow and spreader.
  • Fell Township will receive $75,000 to begin Phase I renovations to Jefferson Street Park.
  • Taylor Borough will receive $74,499 for the purchase of a police vehicle and related computer equipment.
  • The Lackawanna County Land Bank will receive $65,000 for their Blight to Bright Project
  • Mayfield Borough will receive two grants, one totaling $64,134 for the purchase of a new dump truck and another for $45,000 to purchase a police SUV.
  • Heritage Valley Partners will receive $60,000 to make improvements to the connector trail from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail to downtown Scranton.
  • The City of Scranton will receive $55,000 for the purchase of 75 tasers that will replace equipment that will be expiring within the next twelve months.
  • The Jessup American Legion Post #411 will receive $48,729 for repairs.
  • The Ambrose Revels American Legion #328 will receive $39,000 for repairs.
  • American Legion #327 in Olyphant will receive $36,225 to make plumbing repairs.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania will receive $30,000 toward exterior renovations.
  • Throop Borough will receive $30,000 for the Pearl Street Sanitary Sewer Improvement Project.
  • The Valley View Cougar Kickoff Club will receive $28,295 for locker room renovations.
  • The Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast Pennsylvania will receive $25,000 to complete Phase II of the therapy center renovations.
  • The City of Scranton will receive $25,000 for the preparation of a pollution reduction plan.
  • Tripp Park Miss-E League field will receive $24,000 to make renovations to the field and purchase equipment.
  • The Electric City Trolley Museum will receive $20,000 to restore an original 1929 Scranton Transit trolley car.
  • The Friends of Connors Park Association will receive $14,200 for the purchase of a storage shed and equipment to help maintain Connors Park in South Scranton.
  • The Scranton Educational Improvement Organization Education Awareness Center will receive $10,000
  • The United Community Outreach Food Pantry will receive $10,000 toward their fire suppression system project.
  • Olyphant Borough will receive $10,000 toward their downtown revitalization project.
  • Clarks Summit Fire Company #1 will receive $9,451 to modify a pick-up truck into an emergency response vehicle.
  • Shalom Scranton will receive $5,000 for renovations to the James B. McNulty Greenhouse and the Cleland Building in the City of Scranton.

Four projects located in the Monroe County portion of Blake’s 22nd Senatorial District also received LSA grant funding. Those projects include:

  • The Barrett Volunteer Fire Company will receive $148,954 to make renovations to the firehouse.
  • The Pocono Mountain Regional EMS will receive $80,831 for the purchase of four new powered life assist stretchers.
  • Feeding Families Ministry will receive $55,574 for the purchase of two new vehicles that will allow for the expansion of their existing services and outreach programs.
  • The Pocono Mountains Industrial Park Authority will receive $33,810 to make upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant system.

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Blake Announces $5.5 Million for Area Redevelopment Projects

SCRANTON, December 21, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that five Lackawanna County redevelopment projects will receive $5.5 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants.

“RACP funding awards reinvigorate communities throughout the state and leverage significant non-state investment to bolster regional economies,” Blake said. “I applaud Governor Tom Wolf for his commitment to the continued development of our region and for his continued dedication to driving state investments into critically important economic development projects across the Commonwealth.”

The RACP funding was announced earlier today by Governor Tom Wolf and included $1 million Lackawanna County to complete a large-scale consolidation of County agencies and operations at the former Globe Store on Wyoming Avenue in the City of Scranton. 

“This project, which has been in planning for years, will enable cost savings and greater efficiency by establishing what is essentially a one stop shop for county government services,” Blake said. “The consolidation in one convenient location in the heart of the City is not only good for the County’s bottom line but it is good for all residents of Lackawanna County who must access a wide variety of County services on a daily basis.” 

Carbondale Development Partners received $1.5 million to complete a large-scale redevelopment plan for multiple acres along Main Street in the heart of the city’s business district. 

“This project will finalize years of revitalization efforts and attract commercial investment between two major intersections along Main Street in downtown Carbondale,” Blake said. “The City’s central business district has benefited from past state investment and this RACP funding is integral to the city’s continued economic growth and success.”

The Scranton Counseling Center (SCC) project received $1 million to continue the work to relocate SCC into a new facility in South Scranton.

“The relocation of the Scranton Counseling Center will not only provide a 21st century working environment for hundreds of doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals in South Scranton but it will free up for development the 300 block of Adams Avenue in Central City which is ripe for new private investment,” Blake added.

The Dickson City Revitalization Project received $1 million to construct new commercial office space and a warehouse facility in and around the rear 200-400 blocks of Main Street in the Borough.  The 11-acre site contains blighted warehouse structures that will be demolished and the new facility will contain the headquarters for TES, Inc. and Stonerun Trucking.

Lastly, the Just Believe Recovery Center in Carbondale received $1 million to add an additional 12 detox rooms and 12 rehab rooms to their existing operation. It will also help the facility fit out rooms for their Outpatient Clinic and CAN school as well as to add men’s sober living rooms.

“I have and I continue to support Governor Wolf’s efforts to invest in battling the opioid epidemic by placing significant emphasis on expanding access to treatment and diverting those suffering from substance use disorder away from the criminal justice system and into supportive programs,” Blake added. “This funding will allow Just Believe to continue the good work they are doing for NEPA families struggling with addiction.”

RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Governor’s Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and community development improvement projects.  The program requires a dollar for dollar match in non-state funding in the project and all project related expenses must be incurred and satisfied in advance of approved reimbursements from the state.

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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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