Blake Announces $1.49 Million Grant for Dupont Natural Gas Project

SCRANTON, May 14, 2020 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced a $1.49 million dollar state Pipeline Investment Program grant for the installation of 20,600 feet of natural gas line in Dupont Borough.

The project is a partnership between the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund and UGI. UGI will contribute $1.49 million in matching funds to complete the nearly $3 million project.

“Pennsylvania is the second largest US producer of natural gas and it is imperative that we continue to fund projects that can deliver this low-cost, homegrown resource to families and businesses across the Commonwealth,” Blake said. “I applaud the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund and UGI for their partnership and work on this important project for Borough residents and businesses.” 

This project will provide natural gas to 323 parcels, including eight commercial and 315 residential properties in Dupont Borough. This is Phase 3 of the project and entails the construction of 20,600 feet of natural gas distribution main along various streets within the borough. The installation of the gas line will help retain 35 jobs for existing commercial customers along the route and also provide natural gas to the under-construction 36-unit Dupont Housing for the Elderly facility.

The funding was approved today at a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The Pipeline Investment Program is facilitated by the Department of Community and Economic Development and provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises, which will result in the creation of new economic base jobs in the commonwealth while providing access to natural gas for residents.

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Sen. Blake Announces $352,500 Grant for Scranton Park Project

SCRANTON, August 28, 2019 – Sen. John Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that the City of Scranton will receive a $352,500 Industrial Sites Reuse Program grant for site cleanup associated with the proposed downtown public park.

“This funding is great news for the City of Scranton and our downtown residential population,” Blake said. “This blighted lot in the heart of our core business district has long been an eyesore in downtown Scranton. I applaud the Wolf Administration for their continued dedication to downtown revitalization and community development.”

Blake noted that the park project being spearheaded by Scranton Tomorrow also received a $400,000 Keystone Communities grant in January 2018. The proposed park would be located at the corner of Linden St. and Wyoming Ave. in downtown Scranton.

The grant will be used for the removal and disposal of soil and several deteriorated concrete building slabs. The site occupies approximately 0.26 acres and was utilized as a lumber storage in 1884, and a dry cleaner from 1956 until 2000. ISRP funds will be used for remediation consisting of soil excavation, monitoring well abandonment, and a health and safety plan update.

The Industrial Sites Reuse Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation carried out by eligible applicants who did not cause or contribute to the contamination. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.

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Sen. Blake, Rep. Mullins Announce $100K Grant for Lackawanna College

SCRANTON, June 6, 2019 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and state Rep. Kyle Mullins (D-112) today announced a $100,000 grant to repair the historical roof at Angeli Hall on the campus of Lackawanna College.

The grant funding was awarded through the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program which is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.  The grant was part of a $2.5 million investment in 57 historic preservation projects across the Commonwealth announced earlier today.

“Lackawanna College has diligently maintained the architectural and historic integrity of Angeli Hall since it was acquired 25 years ago,” Blake said. “This structure is a critical component to the history of downtown Scranton and I am very glad the PHMC recognized the importance of this project to Lackawanna College and our region.”

The grant funding will be used to repair the roof on Angeli Hall and replace the historic cobalt-jet black terra cotta tiles that are damaged or missing. The semicircular glazed terra cotta tiles will be custom made from molds of the existing field, hip and ridge tiles to ensure its historical integrity. I do not hesitate to support this project.

“These grant funds will not only aid in the historic preservation of Angeli Hall, but more importantly, protect the overall integrity of Lackawanna College’s main building,” Mullins said.  “When the state supports educational institutions like Lackawanna, students are the ultimate beneficiary, and I will always be proud to advocate for this type of support.”

Angeli Hall was originally constructed in 1896 and operated as Scranton Central High School for nearly a century before it was closed. The abandoned landmark was in danger of demolition until it was purchased by Lackawanna College in 1994 for $298,000.

The Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program requires a 50-percent cash match. The total project cost is estimated to be $225,600.

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Blake Announces $191,895 Grant for Carbondale YMCA

HARRISBURG, February 26, 2019 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced a $191,895 state grant for the Carbondale YMCA to renovate the facility’s lower level.  

The grant, awarded through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)  Keystone Communities program, will be used to expand the kitchen and add classrooms to the Carbondale YMCA’s lower level to expand services and capacity to their early learning program.

“I have long been an advocate for the YMCA and I appreciate the Governor and DCED for recognizing the merits of this project and the importance of this facility to our community,” Blake said. “These additional improvements, which follow on from previous state investment, will allow the YMCA to continue to grow and enhance the great variety of services and programs offered to its members.”

Blake noted that the early learning program at the YMCA currently has a long waiting list and these lower level renovations will allow the YMCA to meet growing need.

The Keystone Communities program is designed to support local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

Since January 2015, the Wolf Administration approved more than $22 million through the Keystone Communities program to fund 131 projects statewide, including façade grants for businesses, accessible housing projects, public infrastructure improvements, and other projects to strengthen communities and downtown districts.

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Blake Announces $175K in PAsmart Grants for 5 Area Schools

SCRANTON, January 17, 2019 – Senator John Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that four school districts and one charter school in the 22nd Senatorial District have received $175,000 in targeted grants through the PAsmart Initiative.

The grant funding announced today was part of a $8.7 million investment to expand computer science classes and teacher training at schools across the Commonwealth. Each of the recipients received a $35,000 targeted grant.

“As our economy evolves and technology advances, we need to ensure that our students are learning the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce of the future,” Blake said. “These state investments in STEM education and computer science programs will help us continue to build a highly-skilled workforce across the Commonwealth.”

The four school districts in the 22nd Senatorial District that received targeted grants were Mid Valley, Riverside, Pittston Area and Scranton. Fell Charter School was one of the 18 charter school recipients of funding.

The targeted grants represent the next phase of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, which will provide $20 million to bring high-quality computer science and STEM education in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers.

Blake noted that additional PAsmart funding for science and technology education, apprenticeships and job training will be announced in the coming weeks.

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