Kinsey touts millions in state funding for northwest Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 22 – This week, a state grant worth $4,184,188 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s H2O PA Program was awarded to the Philadelphia Water Department for sewer line improvement along the 21st Street storm sewer.

This program provides grants to projects whose intent is assisting with the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm water projects.

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., represents Pennsylvania’s 201st Legislative District where 21st Street storm sewer is located. He emphasized how much this funding can help Philadelphia prepare for and deal with inclement weather disasters such as floods and storms.

“In past years, we’ve seen flooding that has greatly impacted Philadelphia, and we haven’t had the infrastructure to properly prepare for and address the damage this weather does to our community,” Kinsey said. “This funding is a huge win, as improvement to the 21st Street storm sewer will be very helpful during floods and inclement weather in getting dirty water out of our streets while keeping everyone clean and safe. I’m excited to see the state invest so much money to address this crucial issue, and I was proud to be part of helping to secure it for our community!”

This funding from the CFA is in addition to the $109,783 from its Financing Arts and Culture Recovery Grants Program that was awarded in Kinsey’s district.

In addition to the funding listed above, $625,700 from the Pennsylvania Local Share Account was awarded to two organizations in Kinsey’s legislative district for community improvement projects.

They are:

  • Friends of the Wissahickon, who was awarded $259,126 for the Wissahickon Valley Park Germantown Neighborhood Connection Project.

  • The Artist Bank Inc., who was awarded $366,574 for the Germantown ArtHaus Restoration Project.

“These projects will provide necessary improvements to landmarks and buildings for the betterment of our community.” Kinsey said. “I was glad to help bring this funding back to the northwest so we can get these projects done and our neighbors can begin reaping the benefits of them.”

The Wissahickon Valley Park Germantown Neighborhood Connection Project will use funds to improve accessibility at the Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia. Friends of Wissahickon would like to restore access to greenspace in the Wissahickon Valley Park without pedestrians needing to cross Lincoln Drive, a major vehicular thoroughfare. Current access directs pedestrians onto unsafe, crumbling sidewalks that are neither clearly defined nor consistently stewarded. Project work includes rebuilding approximately 1,255 linear feet of ADA-compliant sidewalk and a raised crosswalk on Harvey Street, along with rectangular rapid flashing beacons, rehabilitating up to 1,200 linear feet of multi-use trail, installing one informational park kiosk and one wooden footbridge along trails, installing additional park wayfinding and interpretive signage, and restoring approximately 1.5 acres of habitat with plantings of native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.

The Germantown ArtHaus Restoration project involves renovating a four-story Victorian property into the Germantown ArtHaus to better serve the community's needs. On the street level, the ArtHaus Cafe will provide a space for the community to gather. The lower-level commercial space will offer the community a maker space with access to STEM fields, artistic tools, and training. The second floor of the property will be designed for community workshops, art classes, summer camps, and after-school programing. Finally, the third floor will be transformed into a studio apartment which will serve the community as a short-term rental option for visiting friends and family. The renovation of this property will create a minimum of 10 jobs and employ over 15 contracted artists. Renovations include safety and lighting upgrades, new drywall and flooring, new doors, new bathrooms, painting, and a new HVAC system. Additionally, the Germantown ArtHaus will serve over 2,300 community members annually and provide professional development to adults and youth throughout the community.