Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $1M in state grants awarded for Mercer County revitalization, wetland restoration

HERMITAGE, April 21 – Grants totaling $934,589 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will fund revitalization of an important Sharon thoroughfare and help preserve Buhl Park wetland areas, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. 

The lawmakers said the funding includes $729,589 to Sharon under the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund Program for Phase 3 of the Sharon Revitalization Project.

“The Irvine Avenue corridor is a critical gateway for visitors to Sharon, but the corridor has fallen into significant disrepair,” Longietti said. Funding for this project will address access and safety issues to improve travel for area residents, attract more consumers from neighboring Ohio and spur greater economic development for the resurging downtown area.”

Brooks said: “Enhancing the Irvine Avenue corridor will help not only our local residents, but also our local businesses and commercial transportation. Working together with City Manager Robert Fiscus on this substantial transportation project helped make this forward-thinking initiative successful.” 

The project will include removing the current road surface, leveling and replacing the road surface, removing and replacing sidewalks with Americans with Disabilities Act compliant materials, and installing safe waiting areas for public transit and for bicycle racks. 

Longietti said a $205,000 grant to Buhl Park Corp. under CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreational Program will support the Buhl Park Wetland Restoration Project.

“Buhl Park’s beautiful and delicate wetland areas have provided area residents amazing recreational and educational opportunities for more than a century,” Longietti said. “This funding is going to support a project to improve the structure and function of three existing wetland areas to ensure the area remains pristine and is preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Brooks added: “Buhl Park is a beloved fixture in our community, and it is my hope that this award will enhance the accessibility, educational potential, and enjoyment of this valuable local asset. With improved parking, walking trails and more, we can help expand Buhl Park’s reach to more children, to those with disabilities, and to everyone who loves the outdoors. I look forward to seeing more children learning about nature on field trips here and seeing families of all ages and abilities discovering the blessings of Buhl Park.”