Competitive State Grants, Loans to Assist Local Projects

HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) approved several competitive grants and loans for projects across Schuylkill County, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Representatives Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill) and Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin).

“These programs will benefit communities, provide for safer waterways and flood protection and for private-sector job growth in areas all across our county,” Argall said. “I’d like to thank all involved for putting together strong applications for this very competitive process.”

“I am pleased that Schuylkill County will receive funding for these worthy projects, and congratulate everyone involved,” Goodman said.

Under CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Funds, which is funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund via impact fees on Marcellus Shale, Schuylkill Headwaters Association will receive a $103,375 grant to complete a five-foot-wide walking trail around the New Philadelphia Park. The funding will also assist the association with a maintenance road to the river walk and a formal trailhead at the north end of the site.

The Schuylkill Conservation District will receive a $300,000 grant through CFA’s Watershed Restoration Protection Program, also funded through the Marcellus Legacy Fund. The grant will allow for the construction of over five acres of floodplain and wetlands along 2,100 feet of Good Spring Creek in an effort to reduce sedimentation of 16 miles in the Upper Swatara Creek Watershed.

“This is an important project that stems from work that began after the 2011 flood,” Tobash said. “I’m happy to see that local and state government continue to work together in an effort to make sure the Swatara Watershed is better able to handle heavy rain events that have caused flooding in the Tremont and Pine Grove areas.”

Included in the 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Assessment Report, Good Spring Creek was listed as a Category 5 impaired stream. The project, which is part of an overall goal of completely restoring the Good Spring Creek Watershed, is estimated to reduce sediment loading by over 500,000 pounds annually.

Through CFA’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program, Keystone Potato Products will receive a significant investment to match private-sector funds in order for job creation efforts in Western Schuylkill County. Specifically, Keystone Potato Products will receive a $559,620 grant and a $373,080 loan to match over $932,000 from Keystone Potato Products.

The funding will allow for the purchase and installation of a 540 kW combined heat and power system for Keystone’s production facility in Frailey Township. The waste heat from the system will produce steam and domestic hot water, an annual savings of 17,000 MMBtus.

The total project cost is $1,865,400.
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