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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