Innamorato: Nearly $1 million awarded for three local projects

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, announced today that three local projects have been awarded nearly $1 million in state grants.

“These funds are a tremendous investment in the Pittsburgh communities I’m proud to represent,” Innamorato said. “After undergoing construction, renovation or repair, the recipients will be better suited to having a lasting humanitarian and economic impact on our neighbors and communities.”

A $173,860 grant goes towards the next phase of redeveloping the Etna Center for Community. The building’s historic windows will be replaced with high quality and energy efficient windows, restoring the history of one of Etna’s original buildings and helping to meet sustainability goals. In addition, the exterior masonry will be restored to its original brick.

“We are so grateful for the advocacy and support of our state representatives in helping to make Etna's dream of bringing a library to our community a reality,” said Etna Community Organization Executive Director Megan Tunon. “The funds which Representative Innamorato helped us to secure will be the first to go toward the construction of the historic building in the heart of our downtown corridor that will become the Etna Center for Community. This will be a place reserved for the people of Etna to access free programming, services and resources for generations to come.”

Shaler Area EMS will receive a $291,000 grant to replace a 2009 ambulance with one that includes the latest in safety systems for patients and crew members.

“In these times of significantly rising operating costs in EMS, receiving this grant could not have come at a better time,” said executive director and chief of Shaler Hampton EMS Eric Schmidt. “These funds will reduce a significant burden from our budget, and this ambulance will serve the residents of Etna, Hampton and Shaler for many years to come.” Schmidt also thanked Innamorato for supporting Shaler Hampton EMS through the application process from the Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund, the facilitator of the grants.

The Pittsburgh Zoological Society of Pittsburgh has been awarded a $500,000 grant to construct a larger giraffe barn at the Pittsburgh Zoo. The new barn will be equipped with transfer corridors that will allow the giraffes to easily be transferred to other areas of the barn for vet care, enrichment and various other needs.

The GEDTF falls under the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and the state Commonwealth Financing Authority. The grants provide financial assistance to entities to facilitate economic development projects in Allegheny County.