Wolf Administration Announces New Funding to Help Scranton Turn Vacant Lot into Public Park

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) that will provide for the cleanup of the former RSM Properties located in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County to provide for further development on the property. The City of Scranton plans to turn the site into a public park.

“This project will bring life and purpose back to an unused space, and with it, community enhancement,” said Secretary Davin. “Investing in outdoor gathering spaces improves quality of life for communities, providing great environmental, social, and recreational benefits.”

The grant will provide $352,500 to remove and dispose of soil and several deteriorated concrete building slabs. The site occupies approximately 0.26 acres and was utilized as a lumber storage in 1884, and a dry cleaner from 1956 until 2000. ISRP funds will be used for remediation consisting of soil excavation, monitoring well abandonment, and a health and safety plan update.

“We are very excited to be awarded this ISRP Grant for the proposed pocket park on Linden Street in Downtown Scranton,” said Scranton Mayor Wayne Evans. “This is the final piece of the funding puzzle that will allow us to bring to reality the conversion of a blighted, vacant parcel to a beautiful Downtown neighborhood park. It’s is more important than ever as our Downtown is evolving into a burgeoning destination for new renters and homeowners alike.”

The 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.

“I’m pleased that this funding will not only clean up a contaminated site, but repurpose it as a green space that the public can enjoy for years to come,” said Department of Environmental Protection secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It’s a testament to the state’s and the city’s commitment to projects that benefit the community and the environment.”

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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