Argall: $2 million more to Schuylkill County for Demolition of blighted sites

HARRISBURG – Schuylkill County’s demolition program will be expanded due to $2 million in state grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill).  This new funding was announced today by County Administrator Gary Bender at an event in front of the former Porter Township High School near Tower City, which has been falling into disrepair since the 1970s.  In the future, the site will host either a new fire company or an expanded park for local residents, at the discretion of the Porter Township Supervisors.

The event also featured Representative Joe Kerwin (R-Dauphin/Schuylkill) and Schuylkill County Commissioners George Halcovage, Boots Hetherington, and Gary Hess.

The $2 million provided by this grant will be used for countywide demolition projects.  At the event, the County Commissioners noted that they will be announcing additional demolition projects in Palo Alto, Port Carbon, Orwigsburg, Saint Clair, and other communities in the near future.

Representative Kerwin said the key is working together as a team to come up with bipartisan solutions to fight blight across the county.  The ultimate goal is to rebuild on these sites for future housing, employment and green space.

“I believe that our demolition program is one of the best in Pennsylvania,” noted Senator Argall.  “Our commissioners, along with Gary Bender and his staff, have worked diligently with municipalities on past demolition grants to stretch their limited resources as much as possible and we are grateful for all of their hard work.  These grant dollars are very limited, so the competition is great for this new funding.  We are hopeful that these dollars will be utilized by communities across the county, large and small, for more than 80 different demolition sites which are now being identified by county and local officials.”

Contact: Jim Brugger

717.787.2637