County strongly supports revitalization efforts05/14/2018 03:54PM ● By Steven Hoffman
County strongly supports revitalization efforts
Earlier this month, the Chester County Commissioners announced the latest round of Community Revitalization Program grant awards. The county is funding about $2.5 million in infrastructure improvements that will allow urban centers in the county to improve curbs and sidewalks, extend waterlines, or replace sewer lines. These investments are crucial, and without the county's support many of these projects wouldn't be impossible for the boroughs to do on their own.
The impact of the county's funding through the Community Revitalization Program can be seen in Oxford and Kennett Square and West Grove. All three of the boroughs in southern Chester County have been enhanced by significant streetscape upgrades that were made possible, in part, by funding from the county.
The improvements encourage economic development in the downtown areas.
The county has now awarded more than $65 million in Community Revitalization Program and Community Development Block Grants to Coatesville and the 15 boroughs that are scattered throughout the county. These programs support the county's economic development strategy to invest in the growth of urban centers so that they can be revitalized, and more rural land can be protected from development.
Kudos to County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell for their leadership and for prioritizing the revitalization of our downtown areas. The success of revitalization efforts in Kennett Square and West Chester and Oxford wouln't be possible without the support from the county.
Kudos to State Rep. Lawrence
Last week’s Chester County Press included an op-ed from State Rep. John Lawrence questioning why Pennsylvania is offering a private timber company from New Hampshire a $50 million loan to purchase timberland in northwestern Pennsylvania.
The terms of the loan are extraordinarily generous—friendly repayment terms and a one-percent interest rate. In the op-ed, Lawrence noted that there was no competitive bidding process or public advertising—the loan was specifically for the out-of-state company, and was not made available to anyone else.
The loan is funded through the state-subsidized PENNVEST—the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. PENNVEST funds are to be used to fund improvements to water and sewer plants in the state.
Kudos to State Rep. Lawrence for bringing attention to this loan. Since Lawrence was first elected to represent the 13th District in the State House, he has been true to his vision for a state government that spends taxpayer money responsibly. Lawrence has made sensible spending and debt reduction a focal point of his work in Harrisburg. If more lawmakers in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. practiced true fiscal conservatism, taxpayers would be a lot better off.