HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Dauphin County Commissioners awarded funding for more than 80 projects that help communities improve their residents’ quality of life without using local property tax dollars.
Funding for the $6.3 million in projects comes from the county’s share of gaming revenue generated from Hollywood Casino at Penn National in East Hanover Township.
“These projects have a direct, positive impact on our communities, from helping veterans find affordable housing and access to medical care to new radios for police and other equipment for first responders,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste in a news release. “Without these grants, townships would either have to delay work or raise local taxes.’’
The awards include $96,500 for Capital Area Transit’s new service taking county veterans to the Lebanon VA Medical Center. For more information, go to DauphinCounty.org.
“The majority of these projects create jobs and further investment and make our county more attractive to companies looking to either expand or relocate to our area,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries, who oversees the county’s Department of Community and Economic Development. “When we improve our roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure, we send a message to employers that Dauphin County is a great place to do business and offers an excellent quality of life for their workers.’’
In all, the projects are expected to attract almost $22.8 million in additional investment and create or retain more than 10,600 permanent or construction jobs.
“Our goal is to use the money where it will do the most good,’’ said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “Affordable housing, help for agencies providing care to our most vulnerable residents, job training, equipment for first responders – all of these projects fill vital needs.’’
Among the projects receiving funding:
Public Safety and Technology Infrastructure
- $148,000 to Derry Township to lease a total of 88 portable and mobile radios for police and public works employees.
- $175,000 to Susquehanna Township for 40 police radios and 40 portable fire radios.
- $62,371 for Lower Swatara Township to purchase six mobile (vehicle-mounted) and 10 portable (hand-carried) radios.
- $15,000 for Lykens’ Liberty Hose Company No. 2 to purchase two mobile and six portable radios, allowing them to communicate with other responding departments.
- $75,000 for Hummelstown to purchase 11 portable, five mobile police radios and base station radios, allowing them to communicate with other first responders on different frequencies.
Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
- $75,000 for renovating and revitalizing the former Jackson Rooming House and Swallow Mansion in the 1000 block of North Sixth Street, Harrisburg, to create four market-rate apartments and one retail space in each building.
- $25,000 to Veterans Outreach of PA to create 15 veteran housing units each 240 to 320-square feet veteran housing in south Harrisburg as part of a center that will include counseling and therapy rooms.
- $125,000 to Tri-County Housing Development Corporation to construct 12 affordable townhomes on almost an acre in the 100 Block of Adams Street in Steelton.
Additionally, the Shalom House received $25,000 for construction on North 15th Street in Harrisburg, of an ADA-compliant emergency shelter for women and children, as well as 27 apartments for transitional housing.
Project requests are initially reviewed by the five-member Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board (GAB), which was created by the commissioners when local share money first became available in 2008. In addition to reviewing projects in a fair and open process, the GAB is responsible for tracking ongoing work to ensure the money is used as intended.
Under state law, the county must use the grant funds for projects that help human services; improve local infrastructures, such as water and sewer; enhance transportation; address health and safety needs; assist with emergency services; and further public interest initiatives.