HARRISBURG – Schuylkill County organizations received over $980,000 in grants to fight blight, according to Senator David G. Argall, Representative Tim Twardzik, Representative Joe Kerwin, and Representative Jerry Knowles.
“Blight affects us all – it lowers our property values, it strains the real estate market, it hurts our schools, it breeds crime, and poses a serious threat to our safety and well-being,” said Argall. “This issue continues to be a top issue in many of our older communities. I was pleased to work with our State Representatives to see that Schuylkill County was selected to receive this highly competitive funding.”
“This is a step in the right direction for our area,” said Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill). “These structures have been vacant, unused, a safety hazard and have become an eye sore to the community. We owe it to our constituents to make our region beautiful and safe. Demolishing deteriorating buildings and houses is the first step in encouraging possible redevelopment. I am pleased to see state funds supporting this worthwhile project.”
“Fighting blight has been a top priority since my election to serve the 123rd District,” said Twardzik. “Dilapidated and dangerous properties — with their many problems, make awful neighbors. This funding provided for by the Commonwealth Financing Authority is a catalyst to revitalize neighborhoods across the City of Pottsville and Mahanoy City Borough. A third grant will allow the Schuylkill County Land Bank to remedy problems in Ashland, Delano Township, Frackville, Girardville, Minersville and Shenandoah. These funds will surely give our communities the kick start to begin the acquisition, demolition or rehabilitation of these properties, sparking millions of dollars of reinvestment in the area. I truly look forward to seeing the end result.”
“Across the 125th Legislative District, combating blight has been an ongoing issue,” said Kerwin. “I am glad to see that the City of Pottsville is receiving this grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to begin the rehabilitation of properties that have been neglected for too long. Seventeen properties within the city will now have the opportunity to be revitalized, six of which are going to be redeveloped. These properties that have been deemed too dangerous for our community will finally be taken care of. I am thrilled to see that we are taking a big step in the right direction, as we continue to look for more ways to solve the issues of blight across our region.”
This funding was provided by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which is an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development. The city of Pottsville received $300,000 to remediate 17 properties. The Borough of Tamaqua received $100,000 to remediate 7 properties. Mahanoy City Borough received $300,000 to remediate 7 properties. The Schuylkill County Land Bank received $280,000 to remediate 10 properties in Ashland, Delano Township, Frackville, Girardville, Minersville, and Shenandoah.
Contact: Jim Brugger