Wolf Administration Discusses Benefits of Restore Pennsylvania for Washington County

Canonsburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined state legislators Timothy O’Neal, Pam Snyder, and Camera Bartolotta, as well as local government officials and community leaders in Canonsburg for a roundtable discussion about Washington County’s fight against blight. Secretary Davin discussed how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania infrastructure proposal could help the region eliminate blight.

“Blight is a major issue across the state, but especially in Western Pennsylvania with the loss of population and major economic changes over the past several decades,” Secretary Davin said. “Restore Pennsylvania is crucial to continue moving forward and positioning our communities for success. If we want to build stronger communities and become leaders in the 21st century, we must invest in our infrastructure and development.”

Restore Pennsylvania, the bipartisan $4.5 billion proposal funded through a commonsense severance tax to rebuild Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings to create new development opportunities or provide new green space. The funding will be administered by entities established by the legislature as land banks or demolition funds.

Washington County has experienced a significant population loss since 1980s, which has accelerated neighborhood decline during that time. Municipalities in the county like Canonsburg Borough have many blighted properties, but they are often unable to fund the demolitions or redevelopment at a comprehensive level themselves. If passed into law, Restore Pennsylvania would be able to fund blight remediation efforts at a level far beyond any existing funding mechanisms at the local and state levels.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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