PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced local projects will receive a total of more than $1.2 million in state grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Sims said the state will provide two grants totaling $898,485 for developing park land in front of Park Towne Place Museum District Residences, 2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, into an active recreational space, with walking trails and reflective gardens featuring public art. The funding will be in addition to $200,000 in state funding which Sims helped to secure last year. The city's Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with Aimco (Apartment Investment and Management Co.) and the Association for Public Art on the project. Sims said the public-private partnership to improve the park area is consistent with the master plan for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway -- More Park, Less Way, by providing a welcoming open green space along the parkway that will benefit residents, visitors and neighboring cultural institutions. The overall development will also create and retain jobs within the region, he said. Sims said the state also will provide $376,736 to replace the dated headhouse to the 11th Street Market-Frankford Line elevated/subway stop and the heavily used bus shelter next to it on the 1100 block of Market Street. The new headhouse and shelter are intended to increase the visibility of transit assets available to the public. Sims represents the 182nd Read more
State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced $155,000 in state funding has been awarded for a project in his legislative district. Hellertown was awarded the grant to rehabilitate the heavily used play area in Dimmick Park. The borough intends to expand the playground area to accommodate new fencing, playground surface and gate. The sidewalk and handicapped access to the playground will also be improved and the play area expanded. “The park is heavily used by adults and children on a daily basis and is a vital component of the community so this funding will be put to good use for upgrades,” Freeman said. “The play area is in the corner of Dimmick Park which is near the ball fields and is used heavily by families on athletic game days as well as throughout the week.” The state funding was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agent created by the legislature to administer a variety of the state’s economic stimulus initiatives. The funding was made available through the local share account established in the state gaming law. Read more
State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, has announced a $240,000 grant for her legislative district has been approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The Lake Swiftwater Club Inc. will use the funding for repairs to the dam located in Paradise Township, Monroe County. “It is important that we continue to upgrade and improve our infrastructure in Paradise Township, which in turn helps our area of Monroe County enhance facilities for local resident use,” Madden said. The project will consist of repairing the spillway, upgrading the earthen dam to ensure downstream safety by lowering the top of the dam, filling in part of the dam with a berm, and armoring the crest and downstream face of the dam with roller-compacted concrete. The dam was drawn down in August 2016 and will remain so until rehabilitation is complete. The rehabilitation of the Lake Swiftwater Dam is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The CFA is an independent state agency that administers several funding programs designed to help grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create jobs, and improve cultural and recreational assets in communities statewide. Madden represents the 115 th Legislative District. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery and state Sen. John Yudichak said three Luzerne County projects today were approved to receive $2.3 million in state grants to build access roads and improve local parks. Read more
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl reports that Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $100,000 grant for improvements to facilities housing after-school and summer programs at the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Perry Warren congratulated Morrisville Borough on receiving a grant for a study that will inform repairs of a levee along the Delaware River. The $140,000 grant, awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will help fund a Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System study. Morrisville Borough will use the study’s findings to update the design and repair of a 4,000-foot levee along the Delaware River and achieve accreditation of the levee supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Protection. The study area will include the riverfront from Bridge Street to the Calhoun Street Bridge, and homes and land between the levee and the Delaware Canal. “I’ve been working with local and state officials on possible solutions for the high flood insurance costs that some Morrisville residents face,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “This grant is a step forward in our joint attempts to help alleviate those high premiums and I’m pleased that Morrisville Borough received the funding to move the work along.” The Commonwealth Financing Agency, an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development, is responsible for the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania’s economic growth. Read more
FOLSOM, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that two Aston Township improvement projects will receive a total of $700,000 in grant funds from the state. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, announced that Pittsburgh will receive a $100,000 state grant for a storm water management project at McKinley Park. The grant was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. "As a result of this funding, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will be able to address the overflows along the southern border of McKinley Park when it rains," Readshaw said. "It will reduce the amount of sediment that collects there and more people will be able to use the park." The conservancy will extend a green infrastructure storm water management project along Michigan Avenue, the northern border of the park, to Delmont Avenue, which borders the park on the west. The project includes replacing two deteriorated storm water inlets on Delmont and installing a 550-foot treatment drain to divert storm water to a street-side rain garden. The total estimated cost of the project is $215,273. The CFA is an independent state agency that administers several funding programs, including the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program, designed to help grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create jobs, and improve cultural and recreational assets in communities statewide. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – Following approval by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced a $500,000 grant has been awarded to the Philadelphia Streets Department to rehabilitate and improve safety infrastructure along corridors to seven public elementary and middle schools that have been identified as “high child pedestrian crash schools” in Philadelphia. “School zones are put in place to ensure the safety of our children in and around our schools. Unfortunately, many drivers do not obey the special speed limits, needlessly putting our children at risk. Only permanent physical measures would force motor vehicles to be slowed, thus reducing speed and improving safety in school zones,” Cruz said. Cruz said the project will help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries in neighborhoods across the city including Cramp, Tiden, Hamilton, Sullivan, Zeigler, Gideon, and Solis-Cohen. The funding will go toward the installation of stop bars, continental crosswalks, pavement markings, curb bump-outs, new ADA curb ramps, speed cushions, pedestrian count down signals, and rapid flashing beacons on routes to and at the schools. The total project cost is $5,040,192. “This grant is a great resource to coordinate transportation and infrastructure in Philadelphia. School zones and areas where safety measures are critical and indispensable,” Cruz said. “I look forward to mitigating risks, reducing Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., joined local celebrities and fellow city leaders at the #FreeMeekMill rally Monday evening to express outrage over injustices in the criminal justice system. Dawkins also discussed the importance voting has on reforming the criminal justice system: “If we want to see real justice, we have to make sure we show up to the polls. Next year, there are a ton of seats open for reelection. It’s important that we make our voices heard and support the same folks who are on the front lines demanding justice. “Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere. To enact real change in the city of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and throughout the nation, we must make our voices heard in the voting booth.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority today approved a $118,000 state grant for Vandergrift to rebuild and resurface portions of Washington, Columbia and Grant avenues in the borough. "These roads are in desperate need of repair so pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike have safer travels," Petrarca said. "I was pleased and worked hard to bring this funding to the community for this project." The roads to be reconstructed and repaved will be Washington Avenue from Franklin Avenue to state Route 56; Grant Avenue from Franklin Avenue to Columbia Avenue; and Columbia Avenue from Washington to Grant. The total project cost is $168,937. The CFA is an independent state agency that administers several funding programs, including Multimodal Transportation Fund program, designed to help grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create jobs, and improve cultural and recreational assets in communities statewide. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Marty Flynn said the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority today was approved for a $100,000 state grant to complete the final design of the Marvine Trail in Scranton. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Vanessa Brown, D-Philadelphia, said state funding for the Parkside Cynwyd Trail was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive an $85,000 grant to help develop final plans and design for the Parkside Cynwyd Trail. The total project cost is $300,000. “Trails and greenways are often seen narrowly when it comes to their benefits. They bring much more than recreational and environmental benefits. The new Parkside Cynwyd Trail will help improve public health and strengthen the economy,” Brown said. “I look forward to seeing the community come together, enjoy the new facilities and share a sense of pride and identity once this project is complete.” The proposed 1.75-mile bike and pedestrian trail will follow the active SEPTA Bala Cynwyd Regional Rail line from the existing Cynwyd Heritage Trail at Cynwyd Station to the Fairmount Park trail system at 53rd Street and Parkside Avenue. The final design will include a rail with trail alignment connecting with other existing trail systems: the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Montgomery County with Fairmount Park, Wissahickon Valley Park, Schuylkill River Trail, the East Coast Greenway, and the Circuit trail system in the greater Philadelphia region. The Commonwealth Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today announced that a $1.8 million grant has been awarded to help continue funding the redevelopment of Logan Triangle. The Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Multimodal Transportation Fund Program authorized the grant, which will help transform the blighted neighborhood east of North Broad Street into a vibrant commercial and community redevelopment. “Every investment made to our community is crucial, it helps create jobs and other opportunities. This grant will truly benefit the people of the Logan community by ensuring the safety of pedestrians and motorists while increasing the quality of life,” Kinsey said. “I want to thank Gov. Tom Wolf for once again understanding the need for these types of investments for the city of Philadelphia.” Kinsey added the $1.8 million grant is in addition to a grant awarded to the project in 2016. Last year’s funding was less than originally requested. When complete, the project will include retail and professional office space as well as a youth sports and education facility. Grant funds also will be used to make improvements to the failing infrastructure around Logan Triangle, including the replacement of curbs, sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps. Read more
WEST CHESTER, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today that Natural Lands Trust Inc. will receive a $250,000 grant through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to acquire a conservation and trail easement for a half-mile trail and public parking on the Moore property, located in Birmingham and Westtown townships. The grant comes from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. “I’m pleased and thankful that the Moore property’s natural and historical benefits will be preserved for years to come with the help of this grant,” Comitta said. “Congratulations to Natural Land Trust for successfully applying for these funds.” The Moore property is 88.1 acres and contains fields, open meadows, woodlands, steep slopes, several tributaries to Radley Run, and Osborne Hill, which is associated with the Revolutionary War’s Brandywine Battlefield. According to Natural Lands Trust, the total project cost is $2,274,375. Act 13 of 2012 established the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which allocates funds to the CFA for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the GTRP. Program grants cannot exceed $250,000 for any project, and a 15 percent match of the total project cost is Read more
It’s a great day in northeastern Pennsylvania and a great example of how local and state government can work hand-in-hand with citizens and businesses to move our community forward. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today thanked members of the Philadelphia Historical Commission for their vote to add the Parish House at the Trinity Oxford Church to the local historic register, thus forestalling plans to demolish it in place of a Royal Farms gas station. “Today is a great day for Northeast Philly. We will now work collaboratively to bring new revitalization to our business corridors,” Solomon said after the hearing. “I nominated this building because it holds a special place in the hearts of so many Northeast residents and is integral to the rich – and often underappreciated – history in Northeast Philadelphia. Today’s successful designation was the product of so many of these residents, along with key partners like the Preservation Alliance, working together towards this shared goal.” Solomon and the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, along with many near-neighbors and activists, testified in support of the nomination at the Nov. 10 Historical Commission hearing at 16th and Arch streets. The commission voted to support the nomination, affirming the recommendation of an earlier subcommittee that in September voted unanimously to add this building to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Solomon said, “While I am thrilled with today’s vote, much work remains. Since Day 1 of this process I have been committed to working closely with the Church Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 13 – Saying federal tax policy shouldn’t be altered to benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class, state Rep. Tony DeLuca wants to stop Congress from eliminating the state and local tax deduction, and from repealing the estate tax. DeLuca, D- Allegheny, who is introducing House resolutions to that effect, said tax policy changes being pushed by congressional Republicans would ultimately hurt the middle class while providing further cash windfalls for millionaires and billionaires. Nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians – about one-third of all the state’s federal income tax filers – use the state and local tax deduction, said DeLuca, citing 2015 IRS data that shows they claimed $20 billion in deductions for property, income and sales tax. “This is the most popular deduction for those who itemize their taxes, and eliminating it would create a strain that would ultimately result in cuts to state and local services, including education and infrastructure spending,” DeLuca said. “Even worse from a fairness perspective, eliminating this popular deduction will pay for tax cuts catering to the most affluent, with 80 percent of the benefit going to the top 1 percent of Americans, according to the Tax Policy Center.” Similarly, DeLuca said the GOP-led effort to eliminate the federal estate tax – which doesn’t even apply to 99.8 percent of estates transferred upon death – would Read more
EBENSBURG, Nov. 13 – Remaining concerned about the facility’s future, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has invited Gov. Tom Wolf to join a group of legislators on a tour of the Ebensburg State Center arranged by the Department of Human Services for 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Several weeks ago, Burns made note of his prior visit to the facility when he vowed to fight proposed legislation that would close the center, which serves nearly 225 mentally and physically disabled adults and employs more than 700 caregivers. Burns said he was invited to participate in the Nov. 17 tour, which was arranged at the request of other legislators, since the facility is located in Burns’ 72 nd Legislative District. Burns said he plans to attend but thought it wise to invite the governor as well. Burns said he took this course of action because, “As I have recently discovered that legislation may not be required in order to close the Ebensburg State Center or other facilities like it, the last thing we want is to wake up one morning and be blindsided with news that it’s a done deal.” In his letter to Wolf, Burns said, “I believe this tour would provide you with valuable insights as to the special challenges faced by some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents and their families … and I can assure you that getting a firsthand look at the needs of its residents and the dedication of its staff is a fundamental step any Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, welcomed more than 65 veterans to her Second Annual Veterans Resource Fair and Luncheon. McClinton also honored six constituent veterans in the 191st Legislative District. “It’s important that we honor the brave men and women in our district that put their lives on the line to protect ours,” McClinton said. “This is why I hosted my Veterans Resource Fair and Luncheon again this year. We must provide our veterans with the resources and services they need.” Attending veterans were able to receive information on resources and benefits available to them and their families. Representatives from the Veterans Medical Center, Impact Services, the office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Humana, Senior Advocate Outreach, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, My Health Vet, and the office of U.S. Rep. Robert Brady were available to offer information on resources across Philadelphia. “I want to give a special thank you to students from the Cornerstone Christian Academy and Mastery Charter Hardy Williams High School for volunteering their time to serve our veterans,” McClinton added. ### Read more
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