Kelly announces 2023 Community Project Funding requests to benefit Western Pennsylvania

Press Release

Date: May 19, 2022
Location: Washington, D.C.

Today, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16) announced the 2023 Community Project Funding requests he plans to include in this year's federal budget. The 15 projects, which total more than $45.2 million, cover all five counties currently included in Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District. This follows more than $8.5 million in CPF requests included in last year's federal budget.

"These projects reflect the need for true investment in local infrastructure and community funding throughout Western Pennsylvania," Kelly said. "Local officials have provided great input in this process, and I'm happy to submit these projects to my Congressional colleagues for their consideration. These fully-vetted projects offer taxpayers the best return on their investment."

The fiscal year 2023 Community Project Funding requests are:

Project: Brush Creek Watershed
Recipient: Cranberry Township
Address of Recipient: 2525 Rochester Road, Suite 400 Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Amount: $5 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Cranberry Township's investment to upgrading and upsizing the Plant will improve in-plant flow management, thereby improving the ability of the treatment system to respond to peak weather flows and improve the effluent quality of the discharge. The proposed upgrades will further limit hydraulic overloading, which is key to reducing the possibility of chemical containments or pathogens entering the Brush Creek Watershed.

Project: Deicing Apron at the Erie International Airport
Recipient: Erie International Airport
Address of Recipient: 4411 West 12th St, Erie, PA 16505
Amount: $5.2 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Construction of an approximately 8,000 syd concrete apron for deicing of business aviation and commercial aircraft. Currently, deicing occurs at the terminal gate positions across a wide area. While convenient for operators it is a large area to contain, messy as surrounding building and equipment are inadvertently sprayed and difficult to contain once it mixes with snow. A consolidated deicing apron, currently proposed in the Airport's Master Plan, would provide a single open area to spray not only commercial aircraft but business jets that are previously underserved.

Project: Dobbins Landing
Recipient: Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority
Address of Recipient: 1 Holland Street Erie, PA 16507
Amount: $2,124,188
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Currently, the free public parking on the pier does not currently include light poles. The parking located under the 2nd floor deck and the north end of the pier are also devoid of safety lighting. While the lighting likely met the requirements at the time of construction 25+ years ago, it falls short of not only current standards but also public expectations. Update the electrical system at Dobbins Landing which would allow the lights to change to different colors.

Project: East Washington Street Bridge
Recipient: PennDOT Engineering District 11
Address of Recipient: 45 Thoms Run Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Amount: $3 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Replacement of the bridge located on SR2006, East Washington Street over Neshannock Creek. This project will address the poor condition rating of the bridge. Closure of this bridge due to a poor rating would impact the freight deliveries and the local traveling public. The bridge facilitates vital socioeconomic activities within the local communities.

Project: Erie Bomb Squad Vehicle
Recipient: City of Erie
Address of Recipient: 626 State Street, Room 111, Erie PA 16501
Amount: $325,000
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: The Erie Police Bomb Squad is the primary Public Safety Bomb Squad for Northwestern Pennsylvania, with a direct area of responsibility covering 14 counties and 47 miles of Lake Erie Shoreline for 1 million people. Last year, the Squad had at least 44 activities where 28 of those were calls for service (i.e., suspicious package, pipe bomb, explosives recovery, threat). This project will purchase of the new bomb squad vehicle. The vehicle proposed is a new customized Ford F-550 with a 16 foot walk-in special service unit for operations and equipment. The new vehicle requested is similar to the training vehicles at Hazardous Device School and at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research.

Project: Erie PAL Program
Recipient: City of Erie
Address of Recipient: 626 State Street, Room 111, Erie PA 16501
Amount: $1 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: This request is for additional Erie Police Athletic League (PAL), Community Outreach Program (COP), and juvenile unit officer hours and youth program resources during federal fiscal year 2023. Erie PAL and officer-involved juvenile activities are going to be growing more rapidly than ever during 2022. These initiatives have expanded to all 11 City of Erie Schools (elementary, middle, and high school) and 5 community centers with 80 actively participating officers from 4 additional law enforcement agencies. Each week, Erie PAL has contact with 550-600 students for afterschool programs.

Project: Former Erie Malleable Iron Site (EMI)
Recipient: Erie County Redevelopment Authority
Address of Recipient: 601-645 West 12th Street, Erie, PA 16501
Amount: $4 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Renovate part of the large building to provide much-needed office and light industrial space in the city of Erie and Erie County. The renovated spaces will allow for job retention and expansion to take place relatively quickly. Plans are in place to move forward at an expedited rate, and facilities will be move-in ready. Industrial blight, like the former Erie Malleable Iron complex, scars communities with its unsightliness and dangerous state of deterioration and presents countless human and environmental hazardous conditions. This disinvestment for decades, has resulted in negative economic impacts for our community. This project will ensure that we address effects of a toxic hazardous site, in the former EMI, and turn its burden into opportunity for new industry and well-paying, sustainable jobs in Erie County.

Project: Harmony Fire District Station Construction
Recipient: Harmony Fire District
Address of Recipient: 543 Main Street, Harmony, PA 16037
Amount: $1.5 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: The Harmony Fire District Station Construction project will build a more centrally located facility that will allow for response to any fire inside the district within 8 minutes located at 424 South Main Street, Zelienople, PA 16063. The relocation of the facility is a critical step in ensuring that the 9,000 residents of the fire district are equally provided services and will ensure that all health/safety/welfare for the residents is retained. Currently, the fully volunteer Harmony Fire District serves one of the fastest growing areas and the current location used for the facility does not allow for adequate movement or storage of equipment. This project will construct a roughly 10,000 Sq Ft, facility that will allow for growth as the communities continue to become denser and more diverse.

Project: Karns Crossing Bridge
Recipient: Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)
Address of Recipient: 2550 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15701
Amount: $7 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Located between SR 0068 and SR 0422 Section 253 and Hospital Way in Butler and Summit Townships in Butler County, PA. The project will replace a 12-span bridge that spans over the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad and the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad in addition to the Connoquenessing Creek. The project will also have intersection improvements and replace an existing twin-cell arch culvert. Additionally, there is a rail yard underneath the structure owned by the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad providing support to the rail system network supplying goods and materials throughout mid and western Pennsylvania and New York. This will improve the transportation infrastructure of the region. The Karns Crossing Bridge is a very large structure that is crucial to the transportation network of Southern Butler County. The Karns Crossing Bridge is a critical connector to the Butler Memorial Hospital. Any closure of the bridge due to structural deterioration would close and/or restrict access to the Butler Memorial Hospital. There are 2,953 businesses, and 19,842 persons employed within 3 miles of the project location. The area around the project generates roughly $2,548,026,560 in annual revenue.

Project: Renovations to Meadville Public Library
Recipient: Meadville Public Library
Address of Recipient: 848 N Main Street, Meadville, PA 16335
Amount: $475,000
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: The building needs numerous renovations to keep its doors open. The windows in the building need replaced as the current ones have no insulation which increase energy cost and have rotting wood around them. In addition, this project would allow for the exterior wall restoration. The restoration of the cornice at eaves to maintain the historical style and structural integrity. The current HVAC system is not functioning, various spaces inside the building need improvements to the system and remove old HVAC mechanics. As this is an older building, there need to be improvements to power exterior and interior lighting. This would include adding solar panels to the building to be more energy efficient.

Project: Sassafras Street Extension Pedestrian Bridge
Recipient: Erie Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
Address of Recipient: 150 East Front Street, Suite 300, Erie, PA 16507
Amount: $4.4 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: One of Pennsylvania's most unique assets -- the Great Lakes waterfront - is cut off from the City of Erie's central business district and adjacent neighborhoods. The interference is caused by a steep vertical grade change of nearly 30 feet along with the Bayfront Parkway. This physical barrier presents obstacles for residents, workers, and visitors who bike, or walk to and from the area's many destinations and therefore, stymies Erie's modern economic growth. This pedestrian bridge seeks to remedy those problems.

Project: SR 3001-L03, S. Main Street Bridge
Recipient: PennDOT Engineering District 11
Address of Recipient: 45 Thoms Run Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Amount: $1 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Bridge replacement on South Main Street over Branch of Hickory Run in Bessemer Borough. This new bridge will help maintain a safe and reliable crossing on SR 3001 over Branch of Hickory Run. The bridge needs to be replaced due to its poor condition and low deck rating. With the current funding challenges, this earmark will cover most of the current construction cost of the project.

Project: State Route 68 Corridor
Recipient: Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)
Address of Recipient: 2550 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15701
Amount: $1.7 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: The project is located along 68 corridor from just east of Stevenson Road (T-425) east to the intersection of Meridian Road/Benbrook Road (SR 3007). This project will signal replacements, installation of turn lanes, and corridor improvements in the 68 corridor. It will enhance safety and reduce congestion in the corridor. Providing a center turn lane throughout the project limits will greatly reduce traffic congestion during peak volume hours and significantly improve safety. Upgrading five signalized intersections within the corridor will improve the level of service for each one. There are 5,262 businesses, and 17,139 persons employed within 3 miles of the project. The area around the project generates roughly $884,944,118 in annual revenue.

Project: US 422 Bypass Phase 2
Recipient: Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)
Address of Recipient: 2550 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15701
Amount: $2.5 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: Located along US 422 from Duffy Rd (SR 3039) overpass to Whipporwill Rd (Old Route 422/T-439). Project is for highway surface improvements including patching existing concrete four-lane roadway and overlay with bituminous binder and wearing courses, update drainage and guide rail, replace concrete median barrier, preservation work on structure, and other miscellaneous construction. US 422s current asphalt overlay is fatigued and in need of preventative maintenance work so that the mobility and travel safety is maintained through future life cycles. Included is preventative maintenance paving of SR 8008 ramps between SR 356 and US 422. This project will provide better corridor and highway surface consistency for both the traveling public and corridor truck traffic and will adjoin with the recently completed Butler Bypass Phase 1 project. There are 5,143 businesses, and 34,682 persons employed within 3 miles of the project location. The area around the project generates roughly $2,421,670,640 in annual revenue.

Project: U.S. Route 62 Railroad Tunnel
Recipient: Mercer County Commissioners
Address of Recipient: 103 Court House, Mercer, PA 16137
Amount: $6 million
Benefits/Justification for Taxpayer Funds: A new tunnel will meet current safety and design standards, solving the inadequate size and dangerous highway turns approaching the tunnel. The height at its center is 11 7", todays trucks require at least 14. It will prevent loose concrete and winter ice from falling on traveling public, allow free flow of commercial traffic for economic benefit of the area, allow emergency use by traffic being rerouted due to accidents on I-79 and I-80.

BACKGROUND
Congressional leaders resumed Community Project Funding (CPF), formerly known as 'earmarks', for the 117th Congress. With increased transparency and stricter guidelines, lawmakers were permitted to submit specific funding requests during the budget process. Rep. Kelly fielded input from local leaders throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania before selecting these projects.

Details on FY 2023 CPF rules and guidelines can be found here.

This funding comes after Rep. Kelly delivered two BUILD Grants for the 16th Congressional District, including $25 million for improvements along State Route 228 in Butler County, and $21 million for the City of Erie's Bayfront Parkway Project.


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