Blake Announces Nearly $5 Million State Funding for Local Projects

HARRISBURG, March 29, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced nearly $5 million dollars in state grants for important community and economic development projects throughout the 22nd Senatorial District.

The funding, approved earlier today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), includes over $2.7 million in grants to projects in Lackawanna County from the state’s Local Share Account (LSA) program and Act 13 funding.

“I was proud to work with my colleagues in Harrisburg to assure this significant investment of state funding into communities throughout NortheasternPennsylvania.” Blake said. “These state dollars are vitally important to local municipalities; they support economic growth; and they provide positive, long-term impacts in the quality of life for our residents.”

Blake said that he worked closely with State Representatives Mike Carroll, Sid Michaels Kavulich, Marty Flynn and Kevin Haggerty to achieve the best possible outcome in the distribution of state funding in a highly competitive process.

The majority of 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:

  • The City of Scranton will receive $195,000 for paving Oakwood and White Birch Drive in the Oakwood development in Scranton’s west side.
  • The Keyser Valley Neighborhood Association will receive $125,000 for paving and re-grading of the Keyser Valley Community Center parking lot.
  • Clarks Summit Fire Co. No. 1 will receive $15,000 for the purchase of an emergency response vehicle.
  • Scranton Tomorrow will receive $115,000 for curb appeal improvements in the downtown Scranton business district.
  • The Greater Scranton YMCA will receive $285,000 for the renovation of two pool facilities at the YMCA in Dunmore.
  • The Everhart Museum will receive $220,000 to address general renovations and safety at the Scranton museum.
  • Moscow Borough will receive $200,000 for the design and construction of a sanitary sewer extension along Church Street.
  • Madison Township will receive $166,064 to make improvements to Becks Crossing Road.
  • VFW Post 25 will receive $100,000 for the construction of Scranton Veterans Memorial Park to honor Scranton’s fallen soldiers.
  • Heritage Valley Partners, in partnership with the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, will receive $90,000 to make pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city of Scranton.
  • The Greenwood Hose Company in Moosic Borough will receive $88,000 for the purchase of one rescue vehicle.
  • Mayfield Borough will receive $81,000 for the construction of a community center dedicated to agriculture, civic activities, entertainment and environmental education to complement the new Life Sciences and Environmental Technology Incubator.
  • Archbald Borough will receive $63,080 for the purchase of a police vehicle.
  • The Archbald Athletic and Sportsmen’s Club will receive$60,000 for the renovation of the community athletic field.
  • Scott Township will receive $58,000 to construct a salt storage shed on recently purchased township land.
  • United Community Food Bank will receive $50,000 to renovate the food bank’s existing food storage warehouse in Blakely Borough.
  • Waverly Township will receive $47,500 for the purchase of a 2017 Ford Utility Interceptor police car and a 2016 Ford Super Duty F-550 municipal dump truck to maintain township roads.
  • Blakely Borough will receive $46,000 for the replacement of deteriorated sidewalks in the borough’s business district.
  • The City of Scranton will receive $44,000 to purchase a Fire Marshall vehicle equipped for a K-9 officer.
  • The North Scranton Neighborhood Association will receive $39,021 to renovate playground equipment at McLain Park.
  • West Scranton High School will receive $37,000 for the renovation of the school’s training facility.
  • South Abington Township will receive $35,000 for the purchase of two new police vehicles.
  • The Coal Miners Remembered Committee will receive $35,000 to erect a monument in honor of all coal miners from Blakely Borough.
  • Marywood University will receive $25,000 for the final phase of their Learning Commons project which includes the demolition of the existing library and construction of an outdoor amphitheater.
  • Taylor Borough will receive $24,021 for the purchase of adapters for the borough’s fire hydrants and police equipment.
  • The Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society will receive $22,500 to replace the roof on the passenger station.

Two municipalities in Lackawanna County were also awarded grants through the Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program. The Scott Township Sewer and Water Authority will receive $200,000 for an upgrade to their sanitary sewer collection system. Clarks Summit Borough will receive $200,000 for sewer upgrades. Lastly, Dupont Borough in Luzerne County will receive $50,000 for renovations to the Quail Hill pump station.

In Luzerne County six projects in Senator Blake’s 22nd District received over $900,000 in grant funding through the Luzerne County Local Share Account:

  • Avoca Borough will receive $350,000 to perform renovations and recreational improvements at the existing Community Center on Main Street.
  • Pittston Township will receive $275,000 for the reconstruction of the township fire station.
  • Duryea Borough will receive $150,000 to construct an addition to the existing Street Department building.
  • Avoca Borough will receive $102,640 for the purchase of a new fire engine.
  • Duryea Borough will receive $24,000 for a remodel of the Germania Hose Company.
  • Dupont Borough will receive $20,000 for the Greater Pittston Regional Composting Facility.

Finally, in Monroe County four projects in Senator Blake’s 22nd District received grants through the Monroe Local Share Account program:

  • Pocono Services for Family and Children will receive $640,500 to replace the roof on the recently purchased Mountain Center facility in Coolbaugh Township.
  • The Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport Authority will receive $400,000 to construct a 6,000 square foot building to store its snow removal equipment.
  • Stroudsburg Borough will receive $130,670 for paving and drainage improvements along Sarah Street from Fifth to Ninth Streets.
  • KidsPeace Corporation will receive $130,000 to renovate a vacant space and expand its operations in Coolbaugh Township.

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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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Blake Advocates for Over $ 3.7 Million in LSA Grants for District Projects

HARRISBURG, May 27, 2015 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that 19 projects in Lackawanna County and four Monroe County projects in his Senate District will receive over $3.7 million in grants through the Monroe County Local Share Account (LSA). The grants were approved earlier today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

“Communities across the Commonwealth and particularly here in our region continue to see great benefits from the returns generated by our gaming industry.  Annual Local Share grants have been vitally important to the success of community improvement and economic development projects,” Blake said. “As state general fund budget allocations for economic development projects have dropped over the past four years, level funding from gaming funds has made a considerable impact on several important projects of merit in my Senate District.”

Among the most recent approvals, one of the larger grants is $225,000 which will be used to continue the renovation of the historic Leonard Theater on Adams Avenue in downtown Scranton. The grant will be used for the design and construction of an elevator and associated construction work to provide accessibility to the theater for persons with disabilities.

“A constant priority is to work with the County and the City to continue the development and revitalization of downtown Scranton,” Blake added. “I believe that once renovations are completed, the Leonard Theater has potential to generate significant returns via increased tourism as well as through value-adding arts, cultural and business service activities in the City.”

Two multi-purpose community centers were also awarded funding through the LSA program. The Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Pennsylvania will receive $190,500 for exterior and ground renovations including the installation of energy efficient windows, a security system, exterior lighting and the resurfacing of the basketball court area at their facility located on Ash Street in Scranton. Additionally, the Carbondale City YMCA will receive $125,000 to make renovations to the lower level and offer affordable office space to local organizations that specialize in cancer rehabilitation, mental health and senior services.

The following projects in Lackawanna County were approved for funding earlier today:

  • Moscow Borough will receive $490,000 to renovate the track, football field and tennis courts at North Pocono School District.
  • The City of Scranton will receive $225,000 to purchase an Aerial Platform Ladder Truck to replace an older truck that is currently the only daily staffed truck covering the city.
  • The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple will receive $180,000 for three phases of roof and water damage repairs.
  • Dickson City will receive $150,000 for site improvements and construction of a parking lot next to the borough’s civic center.
  • The City of Scranton will receive $140,000 for the purchase and installation of additional surveillance equipment and software for the community surveillance network in the city.
  • Glenburn Township will receive $139,000 to replace the Humphrey Road Culvert and repave the effected roadway.
  • Clifton Township will receive $124,000 to make numerous updates and improvements to the township municipal building including the purchase and installation of an emergency generator.
  • The Ronald McDonald House of Scranton will receive $100,000 to install new windows and skylights, a hot water system, hot water heaters, VRV replacement HVAC system and insulation in walls and ceilings at their aging building on Wheeler Avenue in Scranton.
  • Clarks Summit will receive $100,000 to renovate and transform the former firehouse garage into The Gathering Place for Community, Arts and Education.
  • The Women’s Resource Center will receive $100,000 for their Carriage House Renovation project that involves renovations to provide a clean, safe and comfortable environment for adults and children fleeing domestic abuse and/or recovering from sexual abuse.
  • The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority will receive $60,000 for the construction and development of a portion of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail system from south of Vandling Borough to Simpson.
  • Abington Community Library will receive $55,000 for the acquisition of library materials.
  • The Sherwood Youth Association will receive $45,000 to install a splash pad at Sherwood Park in Dunmore.
  • Moosic Borough Police will receive $35,000 to replace the police department’s portable radio system, Taser inventory and ballistic vests.
  • The Moscow Sewer Authority will receive $25,000 to complete a revision to the official sewage plan in accordance with Act 537 and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  • The Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency will receive $29,296 for the purchase of 15 computer work stations, an instructor-central terminal and software to be used as part of the CareerLink program in Lackawanna County.

In Monroe County, Blake said one of the more important projects receiving LSA funding is the rehabilitation of the Skytop Lake Dam by the Skytop Lodge Corporation which will receive $400,000 in LSA funds. The state DEP found that Skytop dam’s spillway is inadequate and that it could pose a public safety threat in the case of a large rain storm event. This grant will leverage private investment by Skytop to rehabilitate the dam and remove this threat.

Other approved Monroe County projects in Senator Blake’s 22nd District include:

  • The Pocono Office Commons economic development project will receive $680,000;
  • The Pocono Mountain Regional Emergency Management Service will receive $24,622 to purchase a generator.
  • The Barrett Fire Company will receive $18,510 for the purchase of high band radio equipment and pagers.

Senator Blake worked closely with the Lackawanna and Monroe County state House delegation to secure the approval of LSA funding for these projects.

LSA funds may be used for economic development, community development and public interest projects in Monroe County and contiguous counties including Lackawanna, Carbon, Northampton, Pike and Wayne Counties.

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Sen. Blake Announces New State Investments in Lackawanna, Luzerne Counties Totaling $1.5M

SCRANTON, Sept. 10, 2014 – Sen. John Blake today said the commonwealth is investing more than $1.5 million in four Lackawanna and Luzerne county communities with the help of new state grants.

“These new investments will deliver better roads in Scott Township, safer pedestrian and bicycle paths in Scranton, and the next steps in a police regionalization effort in Dupont,” Sen. Blake said.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded the latest round of grants, and they come from Pennsylvania’s local share gaming, or LSA, program, CFA’s Multimodal Transportation Fund and the state’s Small Water and Sewer Program.

Heritage Valley Partners Inc. received the largest of the grants, $700,000. The money from the Multimodal Transportation Fund will help to pay for a $1.8 million renovation of pedestrian and bicycle safety paths in Scranton. A deteriorating retaining wall along a pedestrian corridor will also be replaced.

“The Lackawanna Heritage Valley trail system has been delivering quality of life and economic impact returns year over year. The announcement of additional state funds for public safety improvements and trail upgrades in the City of Scranton will continue to enhance and sustain those returns for local families as well as draw more visitors to the city,” Blake said.

Scott Township is receiving a $300,000 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant to help pay for the repair of Discovery Drive and Sam’s Road. The total project is expected to cost $464,640.

A sidewalk and culvert repair project will also take place in Dupont Borough with the award of a $282,000 local share gaming grant. The borough will also receive $100,000 from LSA to help pay for its police regionalization effort.

Finally, Spring Brook Township Sewer Authority will receive $125,000 to help pay for the replacement of an aeration system. The grant is coming from the state’s Small Water and Sewer System Program.

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Lackawanna, Monroe County Projects to Share $4 Million in Grants, Create More Than 300 Jobs

HARRISBURG, March 20, 2014 – The latest round of grant awards by the Commonwealth Financing Authority from Pennsylvania’s local share gaming program means 29 projects in Lackawanna and Monroe counties will share approximately $4 million and create more than 300 jobs in the region, state Sen. John Blake said today.

“From infrastructure improvements at the Valley View Business Park to improvements at the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center, Northeast Pennsylvania communities are continuing to benefit from the local share funds generated by Pennsylvania’s gaming industry,” Blake said.

“We work together in Harrisburg to assure these limited funds are distributed fairly to projects that promise to deliver the greatest benefit to communities and families in our region,” he said.

In Lackawanna County:

  • West Side Hyde Park Community Center received $163,000 to convert a vacant building into a youth and community center in Scranton.
  • $140,000 went to Marley’s Mission to help it build a new outdoor therapy center, outdoor pavilion, hay and manure storage buildings. Based in Newton Township, Marley’s Mission is dedicated to providing equine-based therapy services to children and their families who have experienced traumatic events.
  • Covington Township Moffat Park Pavilion received $190,000 to convert a pavilion to year-round use.
  • Lackawanna County Historical Society: $118,750 for replacement and upgrades of the Catlin House, Scranton, heating and electrical systems.
  • Olyphant Municipal Building: $200,000 for the addition of a new elevator, security doors, safer stairs.
  • Taylor Borough Splash Park: $40,000 for construction of splash park at John Derenick Memorial Park.
  • Throop Borough: $100,000 to upgrade Little League fields, build a new field and add concessions, storage and restrooms.
  • Jessup Borough: $15,000 to the Michael Steiner American Legion for a kitchen renovation and the resurfacing of its banquet hall.
  • $90,000 to the St. Anthony Memorial Park Association for renovations of the parking area and restroom in Dunmore Borough.
  • $452,400 to Jessup Borough for the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company to assist with infrastructure development of a 22-acre Brownfield site that will be known as the Valley View Business Park Professional Plaza. The project is expected to create 250 new jobs.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Pennsylvania: $150,000 to develop a material salvage program, purchase two box trailer trucks, an electronic pallet jack, forklift, scale, bailer and a year’s worth of project site lease payments.
  • Center for Rehabilitation Education Equipment: $225,000 to help the University of Scranton buy and install specialized medical and health-related equipment for the new rehab center, which will consolidate its exercise science, occupational therapy and physical therapy departments into one $47.5 million center for rehabilitation education.
  • Carbondale Technology Transfer Center: $200,000 to upgrade equipment and to renovate and repair CTTC so it can attract 40 new companies to the facility.
  • Roaring Brook Township: $240,000 to pave and rebuild Golf Club Road to improve road drainage.
  • Waverly Township: $100,000 to restore and upgrade Stevenson Road to address heavy storm water runoff.
  • Jefferson Township: $50,000 for the Jefferson Township Sewer Authority to replace seven sanitary sewer pumps that now are experiencing significant maintenance issues.
  • Archbald Borough: $261,250 for the excavation and reconstruction of Peggy Drive, which is one of two primary access roads to the Valley View School District Complex and the main access road for school buses.
  • Scranton City: $100,000 for the Sewer Authority to buy two street sweepers.
  • Scranton City: $112,500 for the police department to buy and install a community surveillance network that provides continuously operational monitoring along a closed-circuit feed.
  • Blakely Borough: $50,000 for the construction of a building to house EMA support, snow removal and police equipment plus administrative records.
  • Greenfield Township: $25,000 to pave the parking lot at the township municipal building.
  • Northeast Regional Cancer Institute: $125,000 to help pay for the expansion of its community-based healthcare education and training program to provide real-life learning for students.
  • Taylor Borough: $25,000 for a new police vehicle and equipment.
  • Moscow Borough: $100,000 to replace its 15-year-old dump truck with a new vehicle.
  • Archbald Borough: $20,829 to help American Legion Post 869 pay for the replacement of its kitchen floor, bar top and provide an additional handicapped-accessible ladies restroom.

In Monroe County:

  • Coolbaugh Township: $164,400 for a paving project to be completed by the Coolbaugh Township VFD.
  • Monroe County IDA: $300,000 for an alternative energy manufacturing project by EthoGen/J.A. Reinhardt, to begin production of a thermal electric power system.
  • Monroe County IDA: $205,500 to add a left-turn only lane to Route 940 at Knox Street in Mount Pocono Borough.
  • Barrett Township: $79,094 for new police vehicles.

An additional alternative and clean energy grant of $1.2 million will help Clean Energy Inc. to build a public-access liquefied compressed natural gas fueling station in Pittston Township, Luzerne County.

Known as an LCNG fueling station, the new facility will be located within a mile of I-81 and I-476. The closest facility of its kind is now 133 miles away.

“This project and others like it serve to bring the benefits of the natural gas industry to the citizens and the business community of our state,” Blake said.

The projects that received funding today were reviewed and approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

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