MAHANOY TOWNSHIP – Local legislators, including Senator David G. Argall (R-29), Representatives Neal Goodman (D-123), Jerry Knowles (R-124) and Mike Tobash (R-125), announced a $1,147,928 grant awarded to the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority (SCMA) to assist with infrastructure upgrades at Mahanoy Business Park.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the funding through their PennWorks program to allow the SCMA to install water lines and a new 500,000 gallon water storage tank to service businesses at Mahanoy Business Park in Mahanoy and Ryan Townships.
“SCMA is excited about the news of the recent grant,” said SCMA Executive Director Patrick M. Caulfield. “Representatives Goodman, Tobash, Knowles, and Senator Argall, along with the County Commissioners and Mahanoy Township, came together in support of this project. This project will provide public water service to one of the few remaining prime economic developable areas along the I-81 corridor in the northern portion of Schuylkill County.”
Sen. Argall said the improvements will help current businesses and attract new employers to the park. “Investing in our future is vital if we want to bring jobs to our area now,” Argall said. “This was a team effort to secure this grant and we are pleased to see the much-needed progress occur here in Mahanoy Township. I applaud the good work of Schuylkill Municipal Authority and Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation for their vested interest in seeing Schuylkill County create new jobs and opportunities.”
“Securing this funding has been one of my top priorities because we need to have this vital infrastructure in place to attract employers to the Mahanoy Business Park, which will lead to many new jobs for the area,” Rep. Goodman said. “This shows that business leaders and elected officials can work together to improve Schuylkill County. It was my pleasure to work with Senator Argall, Schuylkill Municipal Authority, and SEDCO on securing this grant. I also appreciate the support Representatives Jerry Knowles and Mike Tobash provided, even though the project is outside of their legislative district.”
Rep. Knowles said the project will serve as a boon to the region’s economic progress. “I am pleased this worthwhile project will be receiving grant funding to provide a core and essential service of government while benefitting the entire region.”
PennWorks is a program within the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which has oversight of the funding of programs and investments related to Pennsylvania’s economic growth. The local project was 1 of 38 applicants that were awarded funding.
“These projects that are being funded through gas industry impact fees are important for the communities that they serve,” Rep. Tobash said. “When I voted in support of an impact fee during the previous legislative session, this is the kind of project that I hoped to see benefit as a result. I’m glad to have had a hand in making sure this and other projects in our area get the funding they need to operate at optimal capacity.”
“The Mahanoy Business Park project is a major economic development priority for northern Schuylkill County and represents a collective effort between local, county, state and private sectors leaders to add jobs and tax base to this part of the county,” according to Frank J. Zukas, President of Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation. “Municipal water and sewer services are an essential ingredient in making that happen, with this SCMA project representing the first big step in the financial investment needed to get the project started and moving in the right direction.”
In August, Mahanoy Business Park welcomed MainStay Suites, which held a grand opening. Officials believe the new hotel coupled with the state infrastructure investment will lead to the development of the remaining 400 acres containing approximately 11 industrial lots. SCMA estimates the park could support the creation of over 2,000 new local jobs.