Wolf Administration Announces New Funding to Help Crawford County Turn Former Railroad Site into Economic and Cultural Hub

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced the approval of new funding through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP) to the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County (EPACC) to assess the former Consolidated Rail Corp. property in the City of Meadville, Crawford County.

“Repurposing this property is a vital step in attracting business investment and job creation to Meadville,” said Sec. Davin. “Once remediated, this property will provide a clean and safe environment for the development of educational, recreational, and business opportunities along the French Creek Corridor.”

The site, owned by EPACC, occupies approximately 11 acres and contains two buildings that are currently in use. This assessment is part of the broader French Creek Heritage and Entertainment District Initiative, a community-based revitalization effort to redevelop the French Creek Corridor and address environmental concerns at the Bessemer Site. The project is the first component of the initiative and is key to the redevelopment strategy for the site. Once assessed and later remediated, EPACC will continue to work with community stakeholders to transform the area into a multi-use environment, creating a vital economic and cultural hub.

The ISRP grant will provide $200,000 to begin environmental sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, vapor and sheen discharge, risk and ecological assessment, waste disposal, testing, surveying, boom evaluation, remedial investigation/final report, and administration. The total project cost is $400,000.

“We are very pleased to receive this ISRP grant award and want to thank Governor Wolf and DCED for their continued support of our ongoing remediation efforts at the Bessemer Site,” said James Becker, EPACC Executive Director. “The funds will allow us to extend assessment activities at the site as we move forward with this transformational redevelopment initiative in Crawford County.”

ISRP provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation carried out by eligible applicants who did not cause or contribute to the contamination. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.

“Environmental remediation is often a critical step toward ensuring that a revitalization project is not only successful, but safe for the community and the environment,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “I applaud DCED for providing organizations and communities with the means to focus on the environmental aspect of the project. This funding will help EPACC realize its effort to revitalize the land so that the community can enjoy it for years to come.”

For more information about the Industrial Sites Reuse program or DCED, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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