Bethlehem Press

Monday, January 21, 2019

Boscola: $4M in state grants for local projects

Monday, January 8, 2018 by CONTRIBUTED in Local News

State Sen. Lisa Boscola today announced Dec. 22 a total of $4 million in state grants for four local development and infrastructure projects.

“These funds will be used for key land development, infrastructure work, building development and parking improvements,” Boscola said. “I will continue to seek state support for local efforts that spur economic development, investment and create jobs.”

The projects include:

• $1 million to the Bethlehem Parking Authority to build a 585-space, seven-story parking garage at Third and Polk streets in South Bethlehem. The proposed project will include site preparation and site clearing; earthwork and all utilities, sidewalk and infrastructure; reconstruction; and building the parking garage.

• $500,000 to the Northampton Community College (NCC) to help construct a bridge from the Fowler Family Southside Center to Bethlehem’s Polk Street Parking Garage. When completed, the NCC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, located in the Fowler Center, will provide education, training and technical support for students and citizens interested in starting their own businesses. The center will include a new and improved entrance to the building to allow for expanded operational hours, replacement of the west side ramp and entrance with a bridge to the new parking garage. The center will also include shared workspace for early stage start-ups and an expanded “Fab Lab” to support inventors and manufacturers looking to improve product development and marketplace strategies.

• $1 million to Easton to help the city’s parking authority build a parking deck at North Fourth Street.

• $500,000 to Freemansburg Borough to renovate its existing municipal complex and make infrastructure improvements. The existing facility is more than 40 years old and is functionally obsolete. The structure will be updated to provide for: use and storage of equipment including fire trucks police cars, snow removal equipment and related storage.

The funds will also be used to enhance the safety and working conditions of firefighters, police, other emergency responders and administrative staff. A new computer and communication equipment will be installed for operations and emergency management.

There will also be facility sustainability including energy efficiency and handicapped accessibility for employees, volunteers and the public.

The RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) is used for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. Qualifying projects have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, help create or maintain jobs, and generate economic activity.

The grants were approved in Harrisburg.