RACP, ARPA dollars to advance key projects
HARRISBURG – Two Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants have been awarded to Armstrong County projects, according to Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Rep. Abby Major (R-60).
A $1.5 million grant was awarded to the Armstrong Conservation District (ACD) for a project to construct a new building, to be used as the Agricultural and Conservation Service Center, along with supporting infrastructure in Rayburn Township.
“Over the past several years, the Armstrong Conservation District Board of Directors has felt that a ‘one stop shop’ for the agricultural producers of Armstrong County would increase convenience and efficiency in the agricultural community,” said ACD chairman Andrew Kimmel.
In 2019, the Armstrong County commissioners provided the foundation for this center with the donation of over 14 acres of land dedicated for the construction of the future Armsdale Center for Agriculture and Conservation.
Since that time, the conservation district has raised and committed nearly $1.4 million toward the establishment of the center. With the announcement of the RACP funding, Kimmel said the center for agriculture and conservation is one step closer to reality.
Added ACD manager Holly Laird: “The Conservation District will be working with our partners and funders over the next 18 months to make the Armsdale Center for Agriculture and Conservation a reality to better serve our constituents.”
The RACP funding was also applauded by the only Armstrong County animal shelter, Orphans of the Storm, which is part of the ACD project. The shelter assists approximately 1,000 animals a year within the county through rescue, adoption, spaying and neutering services. However, the current facility has experienced frequent flooding from a nearby pond and creek putting the facility’s animals, volunteers, equipment and records at risk. A new shelter will be built on higher ground behind the ACD property on an additional 17.35-acre lot donated by the county.
“Orphans of the Storm is grateful to Sen. Pittman for helping it receive RACP funding for this construction, to the county for donating the property, and to all of the individuals in this community who are making donations for this worthy project,” said Orphans of the Storm board member Liz White.
The Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) of Southwestern PA received a $1 million grant for speculative office development within the RIDC Armstrong Innovation Park, formerly known as Northpointe Industrial Park, in South Buffalo Township.
In addition to the RACP funding announced today for RIDC Armstrong Innovation Park, Pittman and Major noted that a $1 million RACP grant was awarded to the Armstrong County Industrial Development Council last year for the acquisition of additional acreage and extension of utilities to support an expansion of the industrial park across the State Route 28 interchange corridor. The 29-acre parcel adjacent to the park and on the opposite side of SR28 is for water and sewage to accommodate future development. Another $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds were approved to pay for sewage plant upgrades at the industrial park, said Pittman and Major.
Said Pittman of the projects to get grant funding: “Today we are advancing several significant economic and community development projects in Armstrong County. Both the Conservation District and Orphans of the Storm shelter are in need of new facilities and this partnership will help them both achieve their goals. Additionally, we are making major investments in the Route 28 corridor to bring economic opportunity to the Northpointe Industrial Park and Slate Lick Interchange along Route 28. These investments will bring new jobs and development to Armstrong County. This is a big day for Armstrong County.”
“Agriculture plays an important role in Armstrong County’s economy and must not be discounted,” Major said. “I’m happy to support this project, which has been in the pipeline for a number of years. In addition, we must also grow our economy for the future. The RIDC Armstrong Innovation Park just off Route 28 will play a key role in the jobs of the future and make the area an attractive place for businesses to locate.”
“We thank both Sen. Pittman and Rep. Major for their continued assistance with the economic development efforts of Armstrong County,” said Armstrong County Commissioners Don Myers, Jason Renshaw and Pat Fabian, reacting to the RACP funding. “This money will help to bring more business and industry to the county, which means more jobs and a brighter economic future for all county residents.”
RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act. They must have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.
Contacts: Jeremy Dias (Sen. Pittman) email@example.com
Tracy Polovick (Rep. Major) Tpolovick@pahousegop.com