Savings achieved by Armstrong County under a previous state grant will be reallocated to fund a critical Main Street project in Rural Valley Borough under an arrangement approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority today (May 22), according to Senator Don White and Representative Donna Oberlander.
The Armstrong County Department of Planning and Development was able to realize $120,000 in savings from an estimated $760,000 in projects ($531,850 state Multimodal Transportation Fund Program grant awarded in December 2016 and the required matching local funds of $228,000). That grant paid for roadway and sidewalk improvements in Elderton, Ford City, Freeport, Kittanning, Madison Township, North Buffalo Township and South Bethlehem.
Senator White, Representative Oberlander and county officials pushed the state Department of Community & Economic Development to authorize the reallocation of the remaining funding to replace a deteriorating metal culvert pipe under Main Street in Rural Valley that is in danger of collapsing.
“I applaud the Commonwealth Financing Authority for approving a change of scope for this funding. I also want to thank Representative Oberlander for her diligence and persistence in securing the funding for the important project,” said Senator White. “If this pipe collapses, Rural Valley would see its primary transportation artery cut in half and it would be in a position where it just does not have the financial wherewithal to make repairs. This funding is critical in order to get this project done as soon as possible.”
“This project is vitally important for Rural Valley and the local community. The culvert is at the end of its life span and it must be replaced as soon as possible,” Representative Oberlander said. “The Main Street improvements will ensure that local residents have a safe way to get through town and it will also enable emergency vehicles to safely get in when needed. It is our hope that by seeing this approval today we can see this project completed during the current construction season.”
The initial Multimodal Transportation Fund grant was made possible by Act 89. Act 89 increased transit funding and established dedicated multimodal funding for aviation, passenger rail, rail freight, port and bicycle-pedestrian projects. Selections were based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability.
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