Sen. Blake Announces $5.5 Million in Grants for Regional Redevelopment Projects

SCRANTON, August 1, 2019 – Sen. John Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that five redevelopment projects throughout his 22nd Senatorial District will receive $5.5 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants.

“The RACP funding announced today will be incredibly impactful for our region in community and economic development; availability of quality health and mental health care; school security; and access for women to job training and business support,” Blake said. “I commend the Wolf Administration for their continued dedication to important redevelopment projects throughout our region and across the Commonwealth.”

The Wright Center for Community Health received $1.5 million to open a 36,000 sq. ft. primary care clinic at 501 S. Washington Avenue in Scranton that will house its Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence. The funds will equip the space for primary care, dental, and behavioral health services, and for the training of primary care physicians.

“The Wright Center has been an essential and reliable health care partner in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and they have already secured a commitment of federal New Markets Tax Credits and significant philanthropic support for this important $10 million project,” Blake added.

The project to redevelop the former Scranton Laceworks factory received $2 million to restore the most significant and original buildings at the complex. The RACP funds will be used for design, engineering, historic preservation and construction services required to successfully stabilize and enhance the historic essence of the historic Laceworks complex.

Also in Scranton, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania received $500,000 to establish the South Scranton Woman’s Business Incubator. This project will renovate the former People’s Security Bank into an incubator targeted to provide intensive business support and training to women

“United Neighborhood Centers has worked for years to completely transform South Scranton from an unsafe area stagnated by disinvestment into a beautiful, mixed use community with stable commercial and residential development” Blake said. “This redevelopment project completes UNC’s vision for South Scranton and will be an incredible asset to women looking to build their business or enhance their careers.” 

Additionally, Old Forge School District received $500,000 to make a number of energy efficiency and security upgrades to their facilities. 

In Luzerne County, Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance received $1 million to fund an addition on the Interstate Building Materials manufacturing facility in Pittston Township. The addition will increase office and warehouse space.

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 $1.5 Million in Grants for Two Area Projects

SCRANTON, September 13, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that two area projects will receive $1.5 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants.

“Our region continues to see the great benefits of the RACP program and how state funding coupled with private investment can positively impact communities,” Blake said. “I appreciate Governor Wolf’s continued dedication to redevelopment, job creation and education.”

In Scranton, a development project in the 600 block of Wyoming Ave. received $1 million to convert an abandoned six-story warehouse into professional office space.

“The City of Scranton has a pressing need for modern, professional office space in the downtown footprint,” Blake added. “This project will transform a previously abandoned block and attract new and growing business into downtown Scranton.”

Also in Lackawanna County, Carbondale Area School District received $500,000 to upgrade HVAC, lighting and security at the school district.

“Governor Wolf has been a powerful advocate for public education and this grant funding will not only result in future cost savings for Carbondale Area, but it will also allow the district to utilize more of their available funds in the coming years on instruction and other education programs,” Blake said.

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 $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: RACP Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

SCRANTON, January 5, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that applications for the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) are now being accepted. 

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.  In 2016, five projects in Lackawanna County received $9 million in RACP grants.

“RACP funding continues to be important in leveraging private investment in our region and it supports critically important economic development and job creation projects,” Blake said. “Across Northeastern Pennsylvania – and particularly in the City of Scranton – we have seen important state investments from this program.  These investments revitalize neighborhoods; they support our business community and our workers; and they have enhanced facilities and programing at our institutions of higher learning.  It is my hope that we are again able to bring RACP funding to our region to continue our economic growth and progress.”

Blake said that applications are only being accepted until February 3 so it is imperative for eligible organizations to apply soon for this highly competitive program.   Only projects identified and authorized for funding under law through Act 85 of 2013 are eligible to apply.  This program requires a dollar for dollar match in non-state funding in the project and, if approved, all project related expenses must be incurred and satisfied in advance of approved reimbursements from the state.

Per RACP guidelines, a project is eligible for a RACP grant if it has a cultural, civic, historical, regional or multi-jurisdictional impact and generates substantial increases in employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.

For more information about the RACP program, visit www.budget.pa.gov/Programs/RACP/. Organizations eligible to apply for RACP grants can submit their application electronically through the DCED Electronic Single Application website at https://www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/login.aspx

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Blake Annouces $ 1 Million State Grant for Scranton Counseling Center Relocation

SCRANTON, November 23, 2016 State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today applauded the announcement of a $1 million state grant for a project that will relocate the Scranton Counseling Center and open up prime space in downtown Scranton for new development.

The $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding, announced by Governor Tom Wolf earlier today, will fund the relocation of the Scranton Counseling Center (SCC) into a new, state-of-the-art facility on South Washington Ave. in Scranton. The new facility will significantly improve the center’s ability to meet the diverse behavioral health needs of NEPA residents.

“The relocation of one of our area’s most successful rehabilitation and counseling facilities will not only serve the professionals employed at the SCC and their clients but it will create a future redevelopment opportunity in an historic block in the heart of downtown Scranton,” Blake said. “The 300 block of Adams Avenue in Scranton is already in the midst of a renaissance and I am certain that the re-purposing of the former Sears building where SCC is currently housed would attract significant private investment and commercial development.”

Blake noted that the current building housing SCC is obsolete and has not had significant improvements in over three decades. The new facility would consolidate the important services provided by the SCC into one building and also solve parking problems at their current Adams Avenue location. It is estimated that the relocation would create over 50 construction jobs and retain 250 jobs in downtown Scranton.

“I applaud the work of Governor Wolf and his administration for identifying this project as a priority and, again, delivering significant state funding to Scranton and to Lackawanna County,” Blake added. “The RACP grant program has been transformative for our region and I am certain that the relocation of the SCC and the prospects for new development in downtown Scranton will prove to be a prudent state investment.”

Blake worked closely with state Rep. Marty Flynn to secure the state funding that will ensure the success of the project and expedite the timeline for the nearly $9 million project.

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