The most recently announced round of more than $6.2 million in gaming fund revenues generated by Mount Airy Resort and Casino and distributed through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) will fund major utility, roadway, and job creation initiatives in Monroe County, along with a number of community improvement projects.
The Monroe County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA) was awarded six grants for projects including $1.2 million for a planned extension of natural gas lines to underserved industrial areas of Monroe County for construction costs. The gas line will give area industry access to natural gas service and help attract new job-generating industries to the area.
Projects in Mount Pocono will receive a total of more than $1.3 million. The Mount Pocono Municipal Authority will receive $900,000 in land acquisition funds to add a spray irrigation facility to its sewage treatment plant, while $450,000 will support safety improvements along Pine Hill Road between routes 611 and 196. A significant portion of the county’s industrial land inventory is located in or near the borough.
In all, nine projects, along with money earmarked for the expansion of Northampton Community College’s Tannersville Campus will receive more than $6.2 million in funds generated by the Pennsylvania Horse Race and Gaming Development Act, or Act 71, which set up a “local share assessment account” (LSA) and required Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development to distribute money that is generated by licensed gaming facilities to support community and economic development projects and mitigate the impact of gaming activities. The 2012 distribution of more than $6.2 million represents a very slight increase over 2011 gaming revenue.
“The gas line extension and spray irrigation projects, in particular, target important needs,” says MCIDA Executive Director Chuck Leonard. “Combined with the sewer project and road improvements from last year’s grant distribution, we continue to improve the quality of our local infrastructure.”
“Beyond our transportation infrastructure, easy access to varied power supplies and sewage capacity play a big role in attracting job creating companies to Monroe County” The $6.2 million distribution represents only 50 percent of Mt. Airy’s contribution to the local share account. Commonwealth law mandates that Monroe County must share gaming fund revenues equally with neighboring counties.
Leonard points out that since the initial distribution of LSA funds in 2009; Monroe County has received more than $23 million in support of local initiatives.
“Take a quick drive around the area and you can see that money at work,” he says. “For example, the new cancer center at Pocono Medical Center is nearly complete and the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport expansion is already attracting the kind of corporate flights we anticipated.”
The Monroe County Industrial Development Authority is part of the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit economic development corporation dedicated to creating jobs for Monroe County residents, expanding the county’s tax base and attracting new investment with the direct support of the Monroe County Commissioners. More information on economic development in Monroe County can be found at www.www.pmedc.com
More information on the local share assessment account is available at www.newpa.com or by calling 1-866-466-3972.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to $2.4 million to fund costs associated with the expansion of Northampton Community College’s Tannersville campus, The Monroe County Industrial Development Authority received LSA funding for the following Monroe County projects:
• $1.2 million will be used for the construction of a natural gas line extension to industrial areas of Monroe County that are currently not served. The gas line will give area industry access to natural gas service and help attract new job-generating industries to the area.
• The Mount Pocono Municipal Authority received $900,000 for land acquisition around its treatment plant on Route 611. The land acquisition will facilitate construction of a spray irrigation system at the plant.
• Mount Pocono Borough received a $450,000 grant for safety improvements along Pine Hill Road between routes 611 and 196.
• Waste Not Technologies, a Saylorsburg-area manufacturer of post and rail fencing make of recycled plastic will receive $500,000 to help cover expansion costs.
• The Pocono Mountain Public Library will receive $200,000 towards ongoing construction of a new $4.8 million facility on the grounds of the Coolbaugh Township Municipal Building to replace the existing library
• The Buck Hill Inn Redevelopment Project has received $100,000. The group received a $90,000 LSA grant in 2011.
Other projects that received funding include:
• Pocono Township received a $194,000 grant to replace the Frantz Hill Road bridge. The funding will be used to replace a deteriorated culvert which resulted in a collapse of part of the bridge, forcing the bridge to be reduced to single lane of traffic.
• Delaware Water Gap received $165,634 to build a manganese removal system to be built at one of the borough’s water wells to remove manganese from the supply.
• Stroud Township received a $100,000 grant to construct a footbridge over Pocono Creek into Stroudsburg.