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Midland Municipal Authority Receives $7.6 Million in State Financing
I’m very happy to report that a water project to eliminate a costly burden on Midland Borough water customers will receive $7,556,690 in state funding.
The Municipal Authority of the Borough of Midland was awarded a $4,050,800 grant and a $3,549,200 low-interest loan to construct its own raw water intake system to eliminate the need to purchase it from Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI).
I was pleased to work with my colleague Representative Jim Marshall in support of this financing. The current situation is unmanageable.
This is essential funding for Midland Borough. The Municipal Authority and the 1,050 customers who rely on it for water service simply cannot afford the additional financial burden and I am happy that the state is stepping in to provide substantial support for this important project.
For many years, Midland bought raw water from the Allegheny Ludlum steel mill on the Ohio River. Allegheny Ludlum became part of ATI in the mid-1990s. The Municipal Authority’s treatment system then provided water service to the community and back to the steel plant for its use. The situation recently changed when ATI announced plans to halt production at the Midland plant.
PENNVEST financing is provided through the use of federal funding and prior bond issues by the state. It is not supported by the state’s General Fund budget, which covers the daily operations and services of the Commonwealth.
Upcoming “CarFit” Events in Beaver, Lawrence County
I, in conjunction with AAA East Central and AARP would like to invite all area seniors to attend “CarFit”, a free program where senior citizens meet with trained professionals to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. Attendees will learn how to minimize blind spots by adjusting the mirrors, proper fitting of seat belts, optimal head restraint height, and much more. A CarFit check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and/or increase their mobility in the community.
The Beaver County Program will be held on Wednesday, August 10 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at 313 Bridge St. Bridgewater. For reservations, call Senator Vogel’s Office at 724-774-0444.
The Lawrence County program will be held on Wednesday, August 17 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Challenges: Options in Aging, at 2706 Mercer Rd. Shenley Square, New Castle. For reservations, call Senator Vogel’s Office at 724-654-1444 or Challenges at 724-659-3729.
DEP Releases Natural Gas Production Report
Pennsylvania’s natural gas production again increased to record levels last year according to a report recently released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
According to the DEP’s 2015 Oil and Gas Annual Report, more than 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were produced in Pennsylvania last year compared to about 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2011. Currently, Pennsylvania is the second largest supplier of natural gas in the nation.
The 2015 Oil and Gas Annual Report provides information about DEP’s oil and gas permitting, inspection and compliance programs. It also details ongoing data trends and outlines significant accomplishments.
DEP Small Business Advantage Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the availability of grant funding for the Small Business Advantage Grant Program for small businesses that adopt or acquire equipment or processes that promote energy efficiency.
Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution-prevention equipment or procedures. Funding is eligible for those costs incurred between July 25, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
This grant program is financed by the Act 13 Impact Fee assessed on unconventional gas wells.
Applications must be mailed to DEP’s Grants Center, P.O. Box 8776, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8776 or hand delivered to the center, 15th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg. Faxed or electronic submissions will not be accepted.
Farm Tax Credit Program
A state tax credit program that rewards farmers for taking steps is now open.
The 2016-17 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program gives farmers tax credits ranging from 50 to 75 percent -- up to $150,000 per agricultural operation -- as an incentive to purchase conservation equipment and materials to reduce erosion and sedimentation in streams and watersheds.
REAP has awarded more than $50 million in tax credits to 3,900 projects since the program began in 2007. From 2010 to 2014, REAP helped to prevent nearly 1.4 million pounds of nitrogen, 84,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 9,000 tons of sediment from running off into Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Have You Received Your Property Tax/Rent Rebate Yet?
If not, you can check the status of your application online. Rebates began going out in the mail on July 1st. The program benefits Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. Income guidelines apply. The deadline to apply is December 31st. Click here to check the status of your rebate.
ICYMI: Veterans’ Specialist at District Offices
I will host a veterans’ specialist at both my Rochester and New Castle District Offices to assist constituents with various issues related to their military service.
Stephanie Bengoa of the American Legion Veterans Assistance Program will be available on the third Wednesday of each month at the New Castle Office (1905 W. State St. New Castle, PA 16101) and on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Rochester District Office (488 Adams St. Rochester, PA 15074). She will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and no appointment is necessary.
Ms. Bengoa can assist veterans and their families understand the benefits they have earned, enroll in the V.A. health care system, assist with the appeals process, and much more. Please bring any documentation and paperwork you may need.
For more information, contact my New Castle District Office at 724-654-1444.
Be on the Lookout for Scams
Financial scams rob seniors of an estimated $2.5 billion each year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. The department has released this seven-minute Elder Financial Abuse informational video as a reminder to caregivers and relatives of the elderly to watch closely for signs that may point to financial fraud. Click here to watch the video.
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