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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

State Grants Benefitting Communities in the 42nd Senatorial District

Last week, four state transportation grants in the 42nd Senatorial District, totaling $2.857 million, were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

These state funds bolster community efforts to improve efficiency, safety and enhance access throughout our region.

The four projects include:

  • $1 million for McKees Rocks Borough - Intermodal Way Extension - Phase II;
  • $700,000 for the City of Pittsburgh - Mt. Washington Grandview Sidewalks;
    $1 million for Sharpsburg Borough - Main Street Streetscape; and
    $157,000 for the Borough of Coraopolis - Ferree Street Stairway and Bicycle Runnel.

GrantsThe Mulitmodal Transportation Fund, administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, is used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development. The grants are provided to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.

Also last week, the CFA approved grants through the Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund Program (GEDTF). The GEDTF program provides grants for single-year and multi-year projects that promote development in Allegheny County including: economic, infrastructure and community improvements, job training, public safety, public interest, and costs to administer GEDTF funds.

The following projects in the 42nd Senatorial District were approved by the CFA:

  • $500,000 for the Pittsburgh Opera
  • $221,000 for the Brookline Teen Outreach Center
  • $100,000 for the August Wilson Center
  • $500,000 for Heinz Hall Renovations
  • $250,000 for the National Aviary
  • $100,000 for the Schenley Heights Collaborative
  • $209,266 for the Salvation Army in Avalon Borough
  • $500,000 for the redevelopment of public open space in the Lower Hill District
  • $100,000 for the West End Trolley Trail
  • $200,000 for the Davis Avenue Pedestrian Bridge
  • $200,000 for the Renewal, Inc. new treatment center in downtown Pittsburgh
  • $200,000 for improvements to Crafton Park in Crafton Borough.

Going forward, I will continue to seek state support for local efforts to make our entire area a better place to live and work.

Pathways to Pardons Event

On Monday, Dec. 2, Representative Jake Wheatley and I will be hosting a Pathways to Pardons event at the McKinley Recreation Center, located at 900 Delmont Avenue in McKinley Park in Beltzhoover.

Pathways to Pardons is an event that provides an opportunity to learn about the pardon process in Pennsylvania and empower individuals with education and awareness of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate law. The event will include a presentation from Julie Stickland-Gilyard from the Lt. Governor’s office. Representatives from PennDOT and the Allegheny County Clerk of Courts will also be on hand to assist attendees by providing the necessary steps they need to take to restore driving privileges.

The event runs from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. For more information please call 412-471-7760. The event is free and open to the public.

LIHEAP

LIHEAPThe Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) began accepting applications for this season’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on Nov 1.  The program helps low income families pay their heating bills.  You can apply and check the status of your application on the state’s COMPASS website (www.compass.state.pa.us).  You can also pick up an application in my district offices or download one yourself from the DHS LIHEAP website. Completed paper applications should be returned to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 5947 Penn Avenue, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.

Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal government and eligibility is based on the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.  The income limits for this season are as follows:

Household Size Income Limit
1 $18,735
2 $25,365
3 $31,995
4 $38,625
5 $45,255
6 $51,885
7 $58,515
8 $65,145
9 $71,775
10 $78,405

After your application is received you will receive a written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive.  Payments are generally sent directly to a utility company or fuel provider and will be credited to your heating account.  Crisis grants may also be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat.  For more information, please contact the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095.

New Senior Citizen ConnectCards

Senior Citizen ConnectCardsThe Port Authority of Allegheny County continues to issue new Senior Citizen ConnectCards and my office can assist. The new cards will replace the current blue or yellow PA Senior Transit ID cards and will have a photo of the cardholder on the card. These new cards will enable the user to ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Both my Brookline and Kennedy Township offices are equipped to help seniors get their new cards. Simply visit either office and bring with you ONE valid document that shows proof-of-age.  This includes a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID card, birth certificate, PACE ID card, or passport to name a few. My staff will enter your information into Port Authority’s system and upload your photo and a copy of your proof-of-age document. 

Upon receiving the information from my office, the Port Authority will produce a new Senior Citizen ConnectCard and then mail the card to my office where you can return to pick up the card. New cards should take a couple weeks to arrive at my office from the time Port Authority receives the information. When you return to get your new card, please bring with you your current senior bus pass so we can exchange it for your new ConnectCard.

Anyone age 65 or over is eligible to receive this new card and ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Property TaxI want to remind everyone the deadline to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for the 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is Dec. 31, 2018.  Applications are available at my district offices, online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190.  As always, my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.  The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters.  Please keep in mind, half of Social Security income is excluded.

PFBC Seeks Applicants for Boating Facility Grant Program

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) is accepting applications for funding through the Boating Facility Grant Program. This program is open to townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments as well as nonprofit groups including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations that are interested in the planning, acquisition, development, expansion or rehabilitation of public boating access areas.

PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC)Local governments and eligible nonprofit groups may use funds awarded through the program to provide or improve public recreational boat access facilities in their communities that are open and available for general public use.

Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, project design and engineering, development, expansion and major rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Activities must benefit and directly support public recreational boating. Eligible projects must be constructed on lands owned in "fee simple" by the project sponsor; or where ownership is less than fee simple interest, ownership rights must provide for permanent control of the property commensurate with the proposed development.  Eligible construction projects include: boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas, landscaping in direct relation to access development, aquatic invasive species prevention, transient tie-up floats and signs. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2019.

Grant funds are to be used only for major site improvements and not for any routine maintenance or operation activities.

Successful applicants must agree to provide a 50 percent grant match and be willing to enter into a long-term agreement to keep the facility open to free public use for its useful life. The PFBC will give priority funding consideration to applicants that provide more than the required 50 percent match, thereby reducing the total amount of grant funds required to complete the project.

The Boating Facility Grant Program is a reimbursable grant program. Grant funds will be disbursed to the applicant/recipient only after completion of the project occurs and agency staff has verified that the work has been completed.

All work funded for this round of grants should be completed by December 31, 2022. The Commission may adjust the amount of funds available, application, and consideration dates to meet existing needs or opportunities that may occur. Large projects may be phased in over several fiscal years to maximize leverage, distribution and availability of funds.

The PFBC gives highest priority to the rehabilitation of existing facilities, followed by expansion of existing facilities, and then acquisition and development of new boating facilities.  The Commission will rank projects based on local, regional and statewide needs such as boat use and number of boaters served, relationship to adjacent or nearby public and private boating facilities (ramps and/or marinas) and needs based on strategic statewide, regional or local plans.

Boating Facility Grant Program funds are derived from boat registration fees, Use (Launch) Permits for unpowered boats, state fuel taxes collected on fuel used in motorboats, and taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.

For more information about the Boating Facility Grant Program and for application forms, visit the PFBC's web site at https://www.fishandboat.com/Transact/Grants/Pages/default.aspx.

Did You Know…

Did you know that Pennsylvania has over 86,000 miles of rivers and streams that can handle motorized and non-motorized boating access?

Pittsburgh Carmalt Fall Fantasy Craft & Vendor Show

Pittsburgh Carmalt Fall Fantasy Craft & Vendor Show

Pittsburgh Carmalt is hosting a Fall Fantasy Craft & Vendor Show this Saturday, Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the school, located at 1550 Breining Street in Brookline. The event allows attendees to get a jump on their holiday shopping and browse offerings from local crafters and vendors.  There will also be a 50/50 raffle and basket auction.  Proceeds benefit the Pittsburgh Carmalt Academy of Science & Technology PTSA.

Additionally, Carmalt students are holding a non-perishable food drive to help the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  Anyone who brings a non-perishable food item can enter a drawing to win a $25 GetGo gift card.

Meriwether Lewis & William ClarkFontana Fact

It was on this day in 1805 that the Lewis and Clark expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the west.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
1039 Brookline Boulevard
Suite 2
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
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – First Tuesday of each month or by appointment