10 county projects re­ceive more than $1.53M in state fund­ing

The Times-Tribune - - Local - BY KYLE WIND

STAFF WRITER A bi­cy­cle lane study for down­town Scran­ton and Wilkes-Barre and two Lack­awanna River Her­itage Trail ex­pan­sions are among 10 Lack­awanna County projects col­lec­tively awarded more than $1.53 mil­lion in state fund­ing Tues­day.

Com­mon­wealth Fi­nanc­ing Au­thor­ity ap­proved the money through the Mul­ti­modal Trans­porta­tion Fund; Green­ways, Trails and Re­cre­ation Pro­gram; and Sewage Fa­cil­i­ties Pro­gram.

“The in­vest­ment … in our re­gional econ­omy to sup­port crit­i­cally im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture and safety projects, as well as much-needed re­cre­ation projects, is won­der­ful news,” state Sen. John Blake, D-22, Arch­bald, said in a pre­pared state­ment. State Reps. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-114, Tay­lor, and Marty Flynn, D-113, Scran­ton, also an­nounced projects in their dis­tricts.

The largest grant was $505,367 for paving a 1.2 mile sec­tion of Stauf­fer Road at Stauf­fer In­dus­trial Park in Tay­lor, which Lack­awanna County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Kelly said hasn’t been done for decades.

A $54,400 grant will help

study an idea to con­nect bike lanes to points of in­ter­est in the down­towns, boost­ing re­cre­ation op­tions while giv­ing peo­ple who don’t drive an­other way to travel.

Kelly hopes to add ex­am­in­ing Scran­ton’s walk­a­bil­ity in the Lack­awanna County part of the study. Each county has to come up with a $11,250 match for the grant.

Lack­awanna Her­itage Val­ley Au­thor­ity got two grants to im­prove the Her­itage trail through­out the county,

in­clud­ing $100,000 to de­velop nearly a mile of trail that would con­nect Parker Street in Scran­ton to Boule­vard Av­enue, run­ning be­hind Lack­awanna County Re­cy­cling Cen­ter to the Throop line.

The Scran­ton Marvine Con­nec­tor project would al­low pedes­tri­ans and bi­cy­clists to walk or ride be­tween Scran­ton and the Mid­val­ley and move closer to con­nect­ing the city trail to the up­com­ing Dick­son City stretch, said Owen Worozbyt, LHVA’s trail and en­vi­ron­men­tal projects man­ager.

LHVA plans to soon ap­ply to the state Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion for an­other $900,000 to line up the re­main­ing fund­ing and per­haps be­gin con­struc­tion in the spring or sum­mer of 2019.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also gar­nered a $70,000 grant to con­nect the Scran­ton River­walk sec­tion of trail to down­town Scran­ton at Lack­awanna Av­enue to give walk­ers a safe al­ter­na­tive to a nar­row side­walk on an un­der­pass be­low the Sev­enth Av­enue rail­road bridge.

Tay­lor was awarded a $95,245 grant to sup­port the con­struc­tion of a splash park. Bor­ough Man­ager Daniel Ze­le­niak said the new fund­ing brings the bor­ough to $200,000 raised out of roughly $300,000 to $320,000 needed to add the splash park at Derenick Me­mo­rial Field.

“We are look­ing to see if we can pos­si­bly part­ner up with some of our neigh­bor­ing down­val­ley com­mu­ni­ties to see if there’s an in­ter­est in as­sist­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in build­ing this thing,” he said. Con­tact the writer: kwind@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9100, x5181; @kwindTT on Twit­ter

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