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Close to $53 million coming back to the region

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08), a senior member of the House Committee on Appropriations, announced that all 15 of his Community Project Funding requests were included in the final 2023 federal omnibus spending package that passed today.

That means $52.7 million is coming back to the Eighth District for projects that will promote economic development, expand medical and mental health services, and provide for much-needed infrastructure upgrades.

Multiple funding projects also included in the spending bill will support area law enforcement, police and first responders.

“Bringing our fair share of federal tax dollars back to our region is the main reason I ran for Congress,” Rep. Cartwright said. “This funding directly responds to some of the most pressing needs in Northeast Pennsylvania by creating jobs with better pay, making us safer, and strengthening our communities.”

Cartwright, who also serves as chair of the House Appropriations’ Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, ranks Number One in Pennsylvania and is among the Top Ten in the country for securing Community Project Funding dollars for his district.

Last year, Cartwright brought home a total of $19.6 million in funding for all 10 of his requested Community Projects, the highest amount by a Pennsylvania congressman.

For Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, local funding highlights include the expansion of medical and mental health services for women, children, families and the elderly; infrastructure upgrades in the form of water treatment, flood protection and paving projects; workforce development and job training; and new equipment, technology and operation centers for area police, firefighters and emergency responders. 

The full list of projects and funding amounts includes:

Lackawanna County

The University of Scranton: Construction of a research facility for academic science, health science and cyber security, $16.62 million

This project will establish a center for workforce development and applied research in health, science and cyber security at the University of Scranton. The facility will serve as a nexus for campus-wide outreach, research and service by engaging academic departments and programs from all three of the University’s colleges and schools. The center would enhance current and support new outreach efforts in health, STEM and cybersecurity, with a special emphasis on engaging K-12 students.

Marywood University: Nursing and health programs enhancement, $2.6 million

This project will extend Marywood University’s Healthcare Workforce Expansion Initiative. Through student and faculty support, this program will address healthcare staffing shortage in Northeastern Pennsylvania, especially those communities who treat the medically underserved. In partnership with Lackawanna County Career Technology Center and regional health services systems, including Geisinger, this project will help fill the gap in advanced practice professionals in the region, as well as collaboratively transform the healthcare workforce to meet the growing needs of the region’s population.

City of Scranton and Scranton Police Department: Law enforcement training programs and technology upgrades, $3.5 million.

This project will help improve the Scranton Police Department’s community policing efforts by purchasing new body cameras, mobile video recorders and tasers. The new equipment and technology will allow the Scranton Police Department to manage the use of force reporting, direct supervisor audits of specific incident types and add virtual reality and other training modules for officers.

Archbald Borough: A multi-jurisdictional, Fire and Police Emergency Operations Center, $2.96 million

This project is for building a new, multi-jurisdictional Fire and Police Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Archbald Borough that will be multifaceted and centrally located within the community. The EOC will serve as a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management functions. It will also ensure the continuous operation of all borough emergency medical services, fire services and regional police departments.

Mayfield Borough: Flood protection project for homes and businesses, $2.32 million

This project for Mayfield Borough will improve flood protection for homes and businesses. The project involves stabilizing Mayfield’s levee in areas where it is deficient. The levee is approximately 1.68 miles long and protects close to 53% of the town’s residents. The upgrade will add to the levee so that it meets FEMA’s requirement of 3-feet above base flood elevation and will protect the town’s population in the event of a flood disaster.

Friendship House: Rehabilitation and fit-out of facilities in downtown Scranton to provide health care services for underserved populations, $1.5 million.  

The new location for Friendship House will yield 21,795 square feet to provide Whole Person Care to those who need it most. In addition to mental health outpatient and medication management services, the mental health services Friendship House will provide at this new location will include Blended Case Management, Family Based Mental Health, Peer Support Services and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

Luzerne County

City of Pittston: New performing arts center for the downtown district with additional commercial and living space, $3 million

This project is for the City of Pittston for 80,000 square-feet of new construction to establish a theater that would be used to feature performing arts, a drop-down screen for motion pictures and event space for community groups in the downtown district. Project plans also include 5,000 square feet of commercial space, joint office space for the city’s Housing and Redevelopment authorities, and a satellite campus for a regional college. This project will have significant economic impacts on city, county, school district, state and federal taxes and will promote the arts, foster educational opportunities and provide additional affordable housing opportunities through the city’s Project Share program as well as space for the non-profit Food Bank Market.

Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office:  The creation of a county-wide emergency first responder unit, $2.5 million

This project for the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office supports a collaborative effort to create a county-wide unit of first responders from multiple jurisdictions to respond to emergency situations, handle complex investigations, and assist smaller departments with major cases. The Emergency Services Unit (ESU) will include major case investigators, cell phone analyzers and a crisis intervention team to respond to incidents involving individuals with mental health issues and emergency responders trained in responding to high-risk incidents including those involving barricaded gunmen and active shooters. The ESU will be designed to protect the public from violent incidents and to investigate and prosecute criminal offenders.

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority: Stream runoff mitigation and infrastructure upgrades, $3.45 million

This project for the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority supports infrastructure initiatives that will improve watershed quality in our region's streams and the Susquehanna River by reducing key pollutants (sediment and nutrients). This project also provides infrastructure upgrades to improve the quality of wastewater that discharges into the Susquehanna River, as well as reliable wastewater services for approximately 172,000 residents within 36 municipal service areas.

Maternal and Family Health Services, Luzerne County: Expanding health services for low-income, at-risk women, children and families, $2.15 million

This project for Maternal and Family Health Services will improve social services already being offered and will specifically increase and enhance services offered to at-risk and low-income women, children and families. Services include but are not limited to behavioral health/mental health services, substance/opioid use disorder care management, nutrition and food security services and visiting nurse and family planning services.

Wayne, Monroe and Pike Counties

Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport Authority, Monroe County: New construction of a T-hangar building, $3 million

This project will increase economic opportunities for the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport by constructing a new T-hangar building to house an additional 12 aircraft. Currently, the airport’s largest hangars are filled with smaller aircraft which could be stored in the proposed T-hangar building, thus freeing up space for larger turbine and other regional aircraft and allowing more aircraft to be based at the airport, which means higher revenue for the airport from more rentals and more fuel charges.

Milford Borough, Pike County: Storm pipe replacement, $3.5 million

Most of the existing stormwater pipes in Milford Borough are constructed of galvanized steel and have deteriorated over time and need to be replaced. This request for community project funding will improve stormwater management for Milford Borough by replacing 11,241 linear feet of failing galvanized stormwater pipe and making targeted re-routing improvements. This project is part of a larger initiative of improving the commercial district in Milford Borough and expanding water and sewer treatment plant to thereby allowing restaurants, hotels, offices and manufacturing facilities the ability to expand. Additionally, the county government is housed along this corridor and this upgrade will provide a foundation for continued and expanded governmental services, including legal and court functions.

Lackawaxen Township: Paving and resurfacing project for State Route 590, $2.4 million

This project is for 9.1 miles of State Route 590, from the Wayne County line to Towpath Road, which averages 2,646 vehicles a day with drivers on their way to Woodloch Resort, a tourist haven for east coast vacationers, and large living communities including Tinkwig, Lake Forest and Masthope Rapids. Existing road conditions include severe cracking, potholes, depressions and rutting that can – and has - caused damage to vehicles. The proposed project will provide a smoother and safer riding surface while decreasing the cost of ongoing roadway maintenance.

Multi-County Projects

Additional Community Project Funding that will benefit the 8th Congressional District includes $2.2 million for a multi-county United Way program for education and support services for at-risk children and their families, including Pre-K tuition. This project includes the United Ways of Pocono Mountains, Wayne County, Lackawanna, Wyoming Valley and the Greater Hazleton Region.

Another is $1 million for NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania and its Adult Living Support Group to expand the Aging in Place program in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties to assist older and disabled homeowners in need of critical safety modifications to allow them to live safely and with dignity in their own homes. This funding will also help address the significant wait list of homeowners (over 300) already identified as in need of these crucial services across the three-county region.