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Sen. Yudichak Reports

14th District Communities, Projects Receive Over $7.4 Million in State FundingCapitol

State grants and low-interest loans significantly help our communities.

In just the last few weeks, projects throughout my 14th Senatorial District have received over $2.85 million in state grants and over $4.6 million in low-interest loans through a number of state programs. These are all smart investments that will create jobs, stimulate our economy and help communities continue to upgrade their infrastructure, recreation and safety.

Here is a look at the state funding we recently announced for communities and businesses throughout the 14th Senatorial District:

PEDA Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) Grants

  • PA Solar Park II received a $750,000 state grant for the construction of a solar PV facility in Nesquehoning Borough. The project is expected to be able to generate enough electricity to power 1,200 homes for a year and avoid about 9,700 tons of CO2 emissions. 
  • Interstate Building Materials received a $470,000 state grant to expand their manufacturing operations in Pittston. The grant will help InterstateBuilding Materials expand their EPA-certified most energy-efficient windows system for commercial and architectural markets. This expansion project has the potential to create dozens of jobs for area families and will significantly impact our regional economy.
  • The Tuthill Corporation and Blue Mountain Ski Area received a $500,000 grant to extend a 1.7 mile natural gas pipeline onto the resort’s property and construct a natural gas combined heat and power plant to provide low-cost energy. The Tuthill Corporation is planning to build a water park as a warm weather compliment to the ski area.
    • The project also received a $1.5 million low-interest loan through the Commonwealth Financing Authority
Multimodal Transportation Fund
  • Community Area Development Organization in Hazle Township received $244,868 to make intersection improvements and construct a roadway extension to accommodate the growing volume of traffic at Humboldt Industrial Park.
    • Project also received a $1 million Multimodal grant in September to create better access to the park and potentially create up to 7,000 new direct jobs and generate nearly $60 million in additional state and local tax revenues
  • The city of Pittston will receive $225,155 to complete Phases III and IV of the city’s planned streetscape improvements from Market Street to Plank Street. The project will include the installation of new sidewalks, lighting and crosswalks.
    • Project also received a $704,000 Multimodal grant in September to complete phases of streetscape project that include ADA compliant sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting improvements to make pedestrian and vehicle travel safer.
DCEDFlood Mitigation Program Grants
  • Pittston City received a $235,993 grant to replace 569 linear feet of storm sewer along South Main Street – an area inundated with localized flooding during rain storms. The funding will also be used to restore sidewalks that have been damaged by past flooding events.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre received $200,000 to repair and replace sections of the retaining wall for the Solomon Creek areas in the city. The retaining wall was significantly damaged during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Automated Red Light Enforcement Grants
  • Freeland Borough received $125,000 to upgrade the traffic signal at the intersection of South Street and Centre Street with a new controller, LED traffic and pedestrian signals, pedestrian push buttons, traffic-volume detection and technology to improve traffic flow for emergency responders.
Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program Grants
  • Hanover Township received a $75,000 grant to rehabilitate eight existing neighborhood parks located within the township.
Sewage Facilities Program Grants
  • The Borough of Freeland received a $28,445 grant for the development of a Joint Official Sewage Facilities Plan.
PENNVESTPennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Loans
  • The Hazleton City Authority will receive a $2.67 million low-interest loan to address safety and security features at existing pump and tank sites. The funding will also be used to replace aging and obsolete electrical equipment throughout the system that serves approximately 42,000 customers in a low-income area. The project will protect the drinking water supply in the city of Hazleton.
  • Greater Hazleton CANDO will receive a $450,000 low-interest loan to upgrade the Humboldt Industrial Park waste water treatment plant to meet stricter limits for chlorine by-products in the effluent. The funding will be used to retrofit an existing chlorine contact tank to house a new ultraviolet treatment disinfection system containing three disinfection units.

I worked closely with our entire northeast delegation of state Representatives to secure funding for these important projects.

Businesses and communities interested in applying for any of the above mentioned grant programs can find more information on the programs requirements and application deadlines by clicking the names of the grant and loan programs listed above.

Newport Township Municipal Building Construction Underway Newport Township Municipal Building

The funding made available through the LSA program has made significant impacts in communities across the Commonwealth and especially here in our region – and that continues with the funding awarded for the construction of a brand new municipal building in Newport Township.

The new 3,655 sq. ft. municipal building, funded with a $500,000 Local Share Account (LSA) grant awarded in 2013, will house the Municipal Offices, Police Station and a Community Room. The new municipal building, which is scheduled to open in Spring 2015, will vastly improve community service, strengthen public safety efforts and maximize economic development opportunities in Newport Township.

The goal of the project is a new Newport Municipal & Commercial Commons to modernize the delivery of municipal services while maximizing limited government resources and lay the foundation for a new commercial commons that will attract new businesses and jobs to Newport Township. The current municipal building, constructed in 1911, is not energy efficient or ADA compliant.

The new municipal building will be built to specifications so it could easily serve as a police sub-station for a proposed regional force.

The construction of the new facility will also open up ten to fifteen acres of land for commercial development and serve as the catalyst for new retail and professional job opportunities.

Luzerne Senior ExpoOver 850 Luzerne County Seniors Attend Annual Expo

Thank you to all of the Luzerne County Seniors and our nearly 100 vendors for making the 2014 Luzerne County Senior Expo a great success.

Senior Expos are a great opportunity for our seniors to find out what programs and services they may be eligible to receive -- and also to meet with many local providers that they may not otherwise have a chance to discuss health or financial issues with.

This great event continues to grow each year and we are already planning for an even bigger and better Luzerne Coutny Senior Expo next year!

To view a gallery of pictures from the 2014 Luzerne Senior Citizens Expo, click here.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

State Street Elementary students
Had a great time discussing Pennsylvania history with the fourth grade class at State Street Elementary in Larksville!
Greater Wilkes Barre Chamber breakfast
I had an important discussion with many local and state officials at the annual Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber legislative breakfast!
Wilkes-Barre GAR History Class
Really enjoyed talking about state issues with Mr. Rapson's 12th grade political science class at Wilkes-Barre GAR!
Sen. Yudichak speaks at LCCC Wilkes-Barre Center rededication
Recently participated in the rededication ceremony for Luzerne County Community College's Wilkes-Barre Center. Click here to read more.
Expo
School Business Managers Meeting
Discussed state and local education issues at a recent School Business Managers meeting with Sen. Blake, Rep. Kavulich and Rep. Carroll
King's Policy Hearing
Recently had a great discussion on Marcellus shale health issues with Sen. Lisa Boscola and Senate Democratic Policy Committee at King's College.
   

Applications for LIHEAP Heating Assistance Program Available November 3

LIHEAPThe Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare will begin accepting applications for Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, on Monday, November 3. LIHEAP is a great, federally-funded program that helps low-income residents pay for expensive heating bills during our frigid winter months.

To be eligible for LIHEAP, the maximum income level to qualify for heating assistance as a single person is $17,505. For two people, $23,595; three people, $29,685; four people, $35,775; and five people, $41,865.

Applications for the federally funded program are now being accepted online at www.compass.state.pa.us and will also be available at any of my district offices beginning November 3. The deadline to apply for LIHEAP assistance is April 4, 2014.

For more information on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, click here.

DEP Now Accepting Applications for Small Business Advantage Grant ProgramSmall Business Advantage Grant Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the Small Business Advantage Grant Program.

The Small Business Advantage Grant Program provides 50 percent matching grants, up to a maximum of $9,500.00, to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Well-designed energy efficient or pollution prevention projects can help small businesses cut costs and reduce the risk of regulatory problems, while simultaneously protecting the environment.

Applicants must be a for-profit corporation, Limited Liability Corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity with 100 or fewer full-time employees.  Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis and applications will be accepted until fiscal year 2014-15 funds are exhausted or April 15, 2015, whichever occurs first.

Anyone interested in applying can visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the “Small Business Advantage Grant” button.  For further assistance, please contact the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office at 717-772-5160 or epadvantagegrant@pa.gov.

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Offices to Serve You

DISTRICT OFFICE
164 South Market Street
Nanticoke, PA 18634
Phone: (570) 740-2434
Fax: (570) 740-2438
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DISTRICT OFFICE
1201 North Street | Suite 3
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
Phone: (570) 325-3274
Fax: (570) 325-3780
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DISTRICT OFFICE
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Exeter, PA 18643
Phone: (570) 883-4690
Fax: (570) 883-4694
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