Wolf Administration Outlines Benefits of Restore PA for Fayette County

Connellsville, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary Rick Vilello joined Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln and other Fayette County leaders for an open discussion about the region’s fight against blight and how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania proposal could help municipalities eradicate blight.

“Discussions like this are important because the more we understand the needs of our municipalities, the better we can address those needs through initiatives like Restore Pennsylvania,” Vilello said. “Connellsville and other Fayette County communities are struggling with blight, lack of broadband access, and flooding. Restore Pennsylvania is the only way we can fund projects to help this region fight back.”

Restore Pennsylvania, the $4.5 billion bipartisan 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.

Blight is a pervasive issue throughout Fayette County. The county has more than 7,000 vacant residential and commercial structures, and more than 4,600 of those properties have been vacant for over 24 months. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette estimates taxing bodies in the county are losing more than $5 million annually in property taxes alone due to blight, posing a significant economic challenge for the area. If passed into law, Restore Pennsylvania would fund blight remediation efforts at a level far beyond any existing funding mechanisms at the local and state levels.

“We battle blight every day here in Connellsville, and along with flooding, it’s one of the biggest problems we have,” said Mayor Greg Lincoln. “I’m excited about Restore Pennsylvania and what it would mean for helping us with flood protection, blight, and more here in Connellsville and across the county.”

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 or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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