Powell and Williams celebrate grants totaling $318,000 for community projects

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Lindsey Williams, D-Allegheny, announced $318,000 in Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund grants under the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which will benefit Shaler, Etna and the surrounding communities.

Grantees receiving GEDTF funds in Senate District 38 and House District 21 are:

  • The Union Hotel Redevelopment Project will receive $45,000 for façade repairs to the Union Hotel, which are necessary to ensure the safety of building users and pedestrians. This project is a part of the larger Etna Business District revitalization project, which will create new housing and business opportunities in Etna while restoring the historic features of existing buildings.
  • The Shaler Area School District will receive $50,000 for its “Young Learners Need Choice” program, which will provide collaborative tables, flexible seating options, and learning centers for K-3 classrooms at Burchfield, Marzolf and Reserve Primary schools.
  • Shaler Area EMS will receive $118,000 for enhancements to their existing Firefighter Rehabilitation program. Shaler Area EMS currently supports nine local volunteer fire departments by medically evaluating each firefighter after significant exertion for signs of distress or medical compromise. This funding will be used to allow the agency to improve equipment available to protect volunteers and ensure their health and safety.
  • The Charles Street Area Corp. will receive $105,000 for the development of a parklet in Perry South and for the acquisition of 12 city-owned parcels of land. The latter component will be utilized for the development of affordable housing units. These funds were secured in collaboration with state Sen. Wayne Fontana and state Reps. Aerion Abney and Emily Kinkead.

“Senator Williams and I are thrilled to announce these significant investments in our communities,” said Powell. “Housing and economic development have been, are and will always be top priorities for me. The renovation of Union Hotel, for example, will be a critical part of our community's identity and increase the vibrancy and foot traffic in Etna's Business District.”

“State investments in our local projects are incredibly beneficial for our communities,” said Williams. “I am proud to have advocated for funding to improve classroom environments for our youngest students, so they can better focus on learning. I look forward to working toward providing additional predictable and stable state education funding statewide so all students can learn in classrooms that meet their needs.”

“Our brave firefighters risk their lives each time they put on their equipment,” Powell added. “Increasing their access to lifesaving supplies is common sense, and we need to take a more active role in ensuring they have the funding, training and equipment they need to be successful.”

“Ensuring our EMS agencies have the equipment that they need to monitor our volunteer firefighters on the scene of an emergency is a top priority for me,” Williams added. “Our first responders show up for us on our worst day. They look out for our health and safety, so we need to protect theirs too.”

GEDTF grants are administered by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and are funded through gaming revenues. These grants provide financial support to municipalities, authorities, councils of governments, non-profits and others to carry out important economic development projects in Allegheny County. Eligible projects promote local economic activities, create jobs, improve or create infrastructure, promote public safety, assist in workforce development, or improve recreational activities.

Additional information about the GEDTF grants can be found here.