HARRISBURG – Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20th) and Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-120th) announced today that Kingston and Forty Fort Borough will receive a combined $1.3 million in state grants to assist with local trail and transportation development projects.
“One of our primary responsibilities is working toward strengthening communities, in terms of making them safe and attractive and providing opportunities for residents,” said Baker. “State funding for projects that improve motorist and pedestrian safety and provide healthy recreational opportunities has important impacts. This money enables projects to be completed more quickly and reduces the cost for local taxpayers.”
“Luzerne County takes pride in keeping its communities looking beautiful and great interest in ways that it can improve and expand its economic growth and tourist activities,” said Kaufer. “These key projects will improve road safety for residents, provide an additional attraction for residents and visitors alike and, most importantly, will create local jobs in our area.”
Kingston Borough received $800,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for roadway and pedestrian improvements to help revitalize the Church Street and Third Avenue area located in Kingston Borough, Luzerne County.
The Municipality of Kingston intends to install a new micro-surface on the roadway between Pierce Street and Rutter Avenue; refinish and paint traffic light standards; replace streetlights with new; decorative poles containing fixtures; install three illuminated crosswalk systems; and construct a new pedestrian pathway for safely connecting all of the recreational venues and facilities in the project area, which will contain decorative safety lighting with hardware for flower baskets along with neatly spaced benches. The total project cost is $1.01 million.
Forty Fort Borough received $500,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for the development of the Forty Fort Bike Trail in Kingston and Forty Fort boroughs. Work will include construction of approximately 0.8 miles of trail from Church Street in Kingston Borough to East Turner Street in Forty Fort Borough, as well as ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
Forty Fort Borough Manager Bonnie Arnone said, “This grant will be coupled with a $600,000 multi-modal grant received previously to fill a gap in the bicycling/walking trail between Forty Fort and neighboring Kingston. By creating a new trail that goes under the expressway and brings trail users to the area of River and Turner streets it alleviates safety concerns and gets the current trail closer to be connected to the one that currently ends at Fort Street. The borough hopes that connector will be part of the next phase of the project and give users an uninterrupted trail.”
“We’re extremely excited about this award,” said Paul Keating, Kingston Municipal administrator. “The project is viewed as a gateway and transformation-like project and was designed to connect Kingston’s most valued recreational amenities with the Wyoming Valley Levee System. We thank Sen. Baker and Rep. Kaufer for their efforts to help beautify one of Kingston’s main entry points.”
The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to administer Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania’s economic growth.
DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation builds connections between citizens and the outdoors by providing funding and technical assistance support for local recreation and park improvement projects through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants.
Contact: Andrew M. Seder