U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) yesterday voted to pass a fiscal year 2022 appropriations package. The defense portion of the legislation passed on a 361-69 vote, while the domestic spending portion passed on a 260-171 vote. In addition to strong funding for infrastructure, job training, education, veterans’ health care and more, the package includes $19.6 million in direct funding for ten projects in Northeastern Pennsylvania for which Rep. Cartwright advocated:
- $2.1 million for the City of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania’s Community Policing Technology and Equipment Initiative
- $2 million for the Lackawanna County Gun and Gang Reduction and Intelligence Project (GGRIP)
- $1 million for the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber's Project Elevate
- $3 million for Greenwood Hose Company/Moosic Borough, PA Joint Fire and Public Safety Station demolition and construction
- $1 million for Chestnuthill Twp.'s Shared West End Emergency Services Facility
- $3.5 million for Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority for Stream Restorations and Stormwater Basin Retrofit
- $2 million for Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA for technical and vocational education program development, including equipment
- $1.85 million for The Greater Scranton YMCA, Dunmore, PA for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including wraparound services
- $2 million for County of Wayne, Honesdale, PA for facilities and equipment
- $1.15 million for Hazleton Integration Project, Hazleton, PA for a STEAM-based education program
More details on these projects are outlined below. Next, the legislation will be voted on by the Senate, and then sent to the President for his signature.
“Economic development in Northeastern Pennsylvania is my top funding priority in the House, and the 2022 Omnibus Appropriations package really came through in that department,” said Rep. Cartwright, Chairman of the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. “It was worth taking the time to get it right, and the business development, education, public services building construction, stormwater infrastructure, public safety and policing and substance abuse mitigation and rehabilitation funds for NEPA included in this bill will move our communities forward.”
NEPA PROJECT FUNDING INCLUDED IN PACKAGE:
$2.1 million for the City of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania’s Community Policing Technology and Equipment Initiative
Sponsored by the City of Wilkes-Barre, this project involves the improvement of its community policing 2 efforts by purchasing new tasers and dash cameras that are synced with the police officers’ body cameras and begin recording automatically when the tasers are drawn from their holsters or the police vehicle sirens are activated, as well as the ShotSpotter Respond system, the leading gunshot detection, location and forensic system.
$2 million for the Lackawanna County Gun and Gang Reduction and Intelligence Project (GGRIP)
Sponsored by the Lackawanna County Government, this project will develop a targeted and multifaceted approach to aggressively combating violent drug, gang and gun violence within Lackawanna County. It also allows for the hiring of additional law enforcement and legal staff and the purchase of the resources and technology needed to achieve these goals, while ensuring the security of local law enforcement.
$1 million for Project Elevate
Sponsored by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry – a division of the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce – this funding will help with the development of a physical location in Wyoming Valley to serve as the launching pad for the economic and social revitalization of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It features a unique and innovative ecosystem that creates jobs, launches businesses, inspires entrepreneurs and unites individuals within the community.
$3 million for Greenwood Hose Company/Moosic Borough, PA Joint Fire and Public Safety Station demolition and construction
Sponsored by Moosic Borough, this project involves the demolition of an existing Greenwood Hose Company structure which is need of replacement for space, safety, accessibility for persons with disabilities and emergency services efficiency considerations. This funding would support the construction of a new facility that will surpass the capacity of current facilities and adequately serve and protect the entire Borough.
$1 million for Shared West End Emergency Services Facility
Sponsored by Chestnuthill Township, this project involves the building of a new Shared Emergency Services Facility. The new building would serve as an all-in-one facility with space for the West End Volunteer Fire Company, West End Community Ambulance Association, and a Regional West End Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that would serve as the EOC for Chestnuthill, Jackson, Eldred, Ross, Polk and Hamilton Townships and provide an administrative backup location for the Monroe County Control Center (MCCC) as well as the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management (MCOEM).
$3.5 million for Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority for Stream Restorations and Stormwater Basin Retrofit
Sponsored by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA), this funding will support their Warrior Creek Stream Restoration and Abrahams Creek MS4 Stream Restoration & Creek Street Stormwater Basin Retrofit projects. It will address stormwater management and achieve the goals of reducing sediment and nutrient loads under Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) regulations.
$2 million for Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA for technical and vocational education program development, including equipment
Sponsored by Lackawanna College, this funding would help the school establish a Center for Technology Innovation. It will offer a college-level student program, high school program, and a training site for STEM, industrial technologies and trades employers for continuing education students. The Center will feature five laboratories to train students for careers in Gas & Electric Vehicle Technology, Smart Design Building Systems, Robotics & Automation, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) multimedia and Cybersecurity & Information Technology.
$1.85 million for The Greater Scranton YMCA, Dunmore, PA for mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment services, including wraparound services
Sponsored by the Greater Scranton YMCA, this funding is for local YMCAs to contract with at least one mental health/substance abuse disorder organization in their community to provide services at their facilities. The funding will also support the hiring of specialized staff to offer added therapy services, focusing on the prevention and treatment of mental health disorders and drug use, and tobacco and alcohol use among children. Although open to all, the Ys will target low-income community members who may not have access to services, or who may desire alternative service options.
$2 million for County of Wayne, Honesdale, PA for facilities and equipment
Sponsored by Wayne County, this facility will support a recovery-to-work program and serve as a regional hub for treatment and rehabilitation for individuals struggling with addiction and behavioral health challenges. This funding would help to pay for construction of four buildings that would be used in a multitude of capacities to address much-needed drug recovery, mental health and work training initiatives in Wayne County and the surrounding region where such facilities are non-existent or few and far between.
$1.15 million for Hazleton Integration Project, Hazleton, PA for a STEAM-based education program
Sponsored by the Hazleton Integration Project (HIP), this funding would help the organization create a STEAM-based education model to eradicate food insecurity in the Greater Hazleton Area. Age specific STEAM labs will maximize innovative approaches to problem solving and serve as centerpieces to drive and sustain this effort for years to come. Student-led committees will research root causes of food insecurity and drive solutions by incorporating community gardening, logistics, marketing, communication, legislation and the food supply chain. Additional emphasis will focus on the impact of food insecurity and poverty on mental health. Hundreds of our area’s economically disadvantaged high schoolers will be mentored throughout by university students.