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Senator Wayne D. Fontana
Boys & Girls Clubs

Senator Fontana was invited to visit the Carnegie location of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA on Dec. 19. He was given a tour of the impressive facility and spent time speaking about the Clubs’ programs with Mike Hepler, President & CEO; Susan Kalich, VP & Chief Development Officer; and Dominic Panucci, Branch Director at the Carnegie location. Following the tour Senator Fontana was able to speak with the kids and make a few minutes for games of ping pong.

 Every day, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania strive to improve each child's life by implementing self-esteem, courage, and positive values through all of their programs. Over 7,000 youth come to the Boys & Girls Clubs every year to receive tutoring and homework help, computer training, sports, fitness and recreation, arts programs, summer programming, a safe place to be with friends and mentoring. Youth gain confidence by developing a sense of competence, usefulness, positive influence and belonging. Thank you to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA for serving children and families in our region since 1888!

Fontana Announces $13.75 Million in State Funds for Local Projects

grantsLast week $13.75 million in state grants were announced for key local development projects within the 42nd Senatorial District. These funds will reinforce and expedite work on important projects aimed at creating jobs, bolstering investment and enhancing our region’s growing economy, I am pleased to have helped obtain state funds for these worthy projects.

The projects include:

  • $1.5 million for the Heinz Buildings Redevelopment project that will feature 125 rental units with views of downtown and the Allegheny River, a garage, event spaces in the restored historic lobbies and artist studio space in the City of Pittsburgh;

  • $500,000 for the relocation of the Salvation Army’s Community Center to Bellevue;

  • $1 million for the One Grandview project that will establish a hotel with a conference venue, spa and fitness center, ballroom and a grand plaza with an outdoor dining area in the Mount Washington section of the City of Pittsburgh;

  • $500,000 for the Carnegie Science Center expansion project that will include nine classrooms, traveling exhibits gallery, and space for special programs and events;

  • $500,000 for Duquesne University’s Rockwell Hall project;

  • $1 million for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Museum Lab renovation and construction project;

  • $2.5 million for the Riverfront 47 main roadway project in Sharpsburg Borough, O’Hara Township and Aspinwall Borough;

  • $750,000 for the Pittsburgh Trust for Cultural Resources 119 Sixth Street Multiplex development project;

  • $1 million for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for the expansion of the cardiac intensive care unit bed capacity;

  • $500,000 for the Center for Victims relocation in Pittsburgh Southside;

  • $2 million for the renovation of the former warehouse at 1600 Smallman Street in the City of Pittsburgh for the transformation into a mixed-use development facility; and

  • $2 million for the Moxy Hotel and Lofts building project in the City of Pittsburgh.

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) 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.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Closes in One Week

Property TaxThe deadline to file for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is Tuesday, Jan. 2.  

If you need an application, or did not apply last year and wish to apply this year, applications are available at www.revenue.pa.gov or at my district offices, and my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and over; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities age 18 and over.  Homeowners with a maximum yearly income of $35,000 and renters with a maximum yearly income of $15,000 are eligible for a rebate.  Keep in mind half of Social Security income is excluded.  Some applicants who previously received rebates may continue to qualify despite Social Security cost-of-living adjustments that may have pushed their income past eligibility limits.

Offices Closed

All Senate offices are closed today.  My offices will re-open tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 27 as scheduled.

All Senate offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1 in observance of the New Year holiday.  My offices will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 2 as scheduled. I wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year!

Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

Governor’s Awards for Environmental ExcellenceThe Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting applications for the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.  The Award is open to any Pennsylvania business, farm, government agency, educational institution, non-profit organization and individual that has created, or participated in, the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development in Pennsylvania.

Projects will be evaluated on the basis of seven criteria:  protecting the environment; partnership; environmental education and outreach; economic impact; innovation; climate change; and sustainability. 

The application deadline is Monday, January 8, 2018 at 5 p.m.  Applications must be submitted online at http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/GovernorsAwardsApplication or by clicking here.  Project guidelines can be found at www.dep.pa.gov.

529 College Savings Program

529 529 The PA Treasury Department invites you to visit www.PA529.com  to make a one-time contribution by December 31, 2017, for Pennsylvania state income tax deductions this year.

Pennsylvania taxpayers can deduct up to $14,000 per beneficiary in PA 529 contributions made by December 31 from their Pennsylvania taxable income on 2017 state tax returns. Married couples filing jointly can deduct up to $28,000 per beneficiary.
The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program is also giving away $529 for college!  To view official rules and enter the contest, visit www.PA529.com/contest

To learn more and to read important disclosures, visit www.PA529.com or call 800-440-4000. 

Table Games Revenue Increases

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced last week that revenue from table games play in Pennsylvania increased nearly three percent in November compared with November 2016.  Table games revenue in November totaled more than $72.2 million, an increase of 2.8 percent over last November’s table games revenue of just over $70.2 million.  Total tax revenue from table games play in November was more than $11.6 million. 

Combined with November’s slot machine revenue, total gaming revenue for the month increased by 1.6 percent compared with last November.

The state’s gaming industry employs over 18,000 people and generates approximately $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue from both slot machines and table games.  For more information on gaming in Pennsylvania and to read reports from the Gaming Control Board, please visit them online at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.

First Night Pittsburgh

First Night Pittsburgh First Night Pittsburgh The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is once again producing First Night Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve.  This year’s celebration marks the 24th anniversary of First Night Pittsburgh and the 15th as a production of the Cultural Trust.As the largest single-day celebration in the region, First Night provides exciting and family-friendly activities to ring in the New Year, offering more than 100 events at indoor and outdoor locations within the 14-block Cultural District. 

First Night Pittsburgh kicks off at 6 p.m. this Sunday with a children’s fireworks show and concludes with the countdown to midnight, and the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball at midnight, with tons of fun in between.This year, Lee Fields & The Expressions will perform as the headline act during First Night. 

To view the many activities taking place during First Night and for a full schedule of events, shows and entertainment and information on how to purchase all-access buttons please visit www.firstnightpgh.org.

Christmas Tree Recycling Program

Christmas Tree REcyclingAllegheny County is once again offering its annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program this holiday season.  Residents of Allegheny County can drop off their Christmas trees beginning today, through Tuesday, Jan. 16 at all nine regional parks during regular hours of operation, dawn to dusk.

All lights, decorations, tinsel and stands must be removed from trees prior to dropping them off.  The trees will be mulched and used in County parks.  The following are the drop-off locations:

Boyce Park

parking lot by the soccer fields    

Deer Lakes Park parking lot by the Veterans 2 Shelter
Harrison Hills Park parking lot at the intersection of Chipmunk & Cottontail Drive
Hartwood Acres Park parking lot at the mansion
North Park parking lot at the swimming pool
Round Hill Park parking lot at the Alfalfa Shelter
Settlers Cabin Park parking lot by the wave pool
South Park  parking lot at the wave pool
White Oak Park parking lot at the Chestnut Shelter
   

Did You Know…

Did you know that during the 2016-17 Allegheny County Christmas Tree Recycling Program, more than 2,000 trees were received and recycled?

Quitting Tobacco Resources

Every year millions of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution to quit tobacco use.  Unfortunately, if that is the only step you take to quit, there is a 95 percent chance not being successful.  The most effective plans to quit include two parts: support through a step-by-step quit program and use of FDA-approved cessation medications.  In-person, by phone and online quit programs that provide free medication are available at no cost to Pennsylvanians to help them quit, and stay quit for 2018.

Tobacco Free Allegheny provides local in-person tobacco cessation programs and medication to residents at no cost. Anyone interested can learn more online at www.tobaccofreeallegheny.org or by calling them at 412-322-8321. 

The Pennsylvania Free Quitline is a free, local resource for quitting tobacco use.  It provides over-the-phone counseling services with a certified quit coach, nicotine patches and lozenges (for qualified callers) and support for all Pennsylvania residents.  Information and self-help materials are also available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

snow flakeFontana Fact

While snow appears to be white, it is actually translucent.  Snow, like the ice particles it’s made up of, is actually colorless. It’s translucent, which means that light does not pass through it easily but is rather reflected. It’s the light reflected off a snowflake’s faceted surface that creates its white appearance.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By Appointment
Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library | Allegheny Branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
By Appointment
Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence Tobacco Free Allegheny