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WAYNESBURG – Jan. 6, 2012 – State Sen. Tim Solobay today joined local officials to announce more than $1 million in state grants for important local economic development projects.
“While the recession has put significant stress on non-profits, the recovery is dependent on targeted investment in infrastructure,” Solobay said. “There are hundreds of dedicated people in Greene County who did not surrender and instead embraced the challenges of tough times. These grants are an important recognition of their effort and a worthwhile investment in their work.”
The money is being awarded through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, after years of effort by local organizations and public officials.
“These three grants, worth a combined $1.15 million, are a testament to the effective teamwork of elected members of the state House and state Senate, as well as their staffs,” said state Rep. Bill DeWeese, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington. “This money represents a prudent investment in projects that will improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for Greene County residents.”
During a news conference at Southwest Medical Center, Solobay joined Greene County commissioners to announce the release of $500,000 for renovations at the medical center and $250,000 for infrastructure development at the planned Greene County Airport Business Park.
Cindie Cowie, the chief executive at the medical center, thanked Solobay and DeWeese for their effort.
“In these ever changing tides of health care, their support is critical in helping us navigate the stormy waters,” she said. The money, she said, will be used to make improvements to the facility’s kitchen which, in turn, will allow expansion of clinical areas.
The airport grant will be used to offset the construction costs of a new access road and gateway to the airport, which comprises 150 acres along Route 21 in Franklin Township.
The relocated access road and entrance will create more efficient traffic movement and open up additional land at the airport for further development. The total estimated cost of the project is $1 million. The county has secured a combination of state and federal funds as well as county bond proceeds for the first phase of the redevelopment.
At a later event, Solobay visited Greene Arc, Inc., to announce the release of $400,000 for the enhanced vocational training center that will allow the organization to continue providing vocational services, prevocational services, residential support, adult day training, supported employment, mental health recovery support and advocacy services, allowing individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible in their local community.
While Greene Arc’s 65 staff members work with more than 100 adults and family members, it is estimated that as many as 1,200 Greene County residents could benefit from their services.
“Just as we say with education, the economic recovery should leave no one behind,” Solobay said. “Despite their significant challenges, these clients are looking for help getting back to work and this program will save untold taxpayer dollars by training them to become productive and self-sufficient partners in our community.”