Wolf Administration Tour Highlights How Restore Pennsylvania is Key to Battling Blight

Meadville, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver joined local officials and community leaders from Meadville, Crawford County to tour the city and to discuss how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania proposal could help municipalities eradicate blight.

“Like we see in many other areas of the commonwealth, the residents of Meadville are dealing with the problems caused by blight’s slow creep,” said Executive Deputy Secretary Weaver. “If we want to build stronger communities and improve quality of life in cities and towns across Pennsylvania, we must invest in infrastructure and development. Restore Pennsylvania is the only proven path forward to help Pennsylvanians.”

The oldest permanent settlement in northeastern Pennsylvania, Meadville was founded in 1788 and incorporated as a borough in 1823. Over the past decade, the city has been committed to combating blighted properties, but more work remains.

“Meadville has a rich history of civic pride but blighted properties, gone unaddressed, threaten the stability of our community and tax base,” said Meadville Mayor LeRoy Stearns. “We appreciate DCED’s interest in the hurdles that local governments face and the support we receive from them. We look forward to furthering that partnership along with partnerships within the Meadville community to make truly transformational changes throughout the city.”

In Pennsylvania, more than 300,000 blighted properties exist, creating health and safety concerns for citizens and lowering property values and tax revenues. Restore Pennsylvania would fund blight remediation efforts at a level far beyond any existing funding mechanisms currently available and would allow municipalities to direct funding to other economic development projects as needed.

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.

Learn more about what critical infrastructure could be addressed in your community by visiting the Restore Pennsylvania website.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS:
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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