Multiple RACP Grants Approved for Region

Indiana County and Indiana University of Pennsylvania are among the beneficiaries of the latest round of state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants, as announced Friday April 22 by state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, and various state House members in his 41st Senatorial District.

Grants totaling $3 million have been awarded to the Indiana County Development Corporation for economic development projects within the county, including $2.5 million for a collaborative effort between the ICDC, the Indiana County Commissioners and targeted municipalities in county Multi-Municipal Economic Development projects.

“The funding awarded will open new opportunities throughout Indiana County to bring economic and community development to the region, and I am confident we will see tangible results in the near future,” Pittman said.

Those projects will include, in Phase I, the Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park in White Township; Phase II will be in Burrell Township at the Corporate Campus Business Park; and, in Phase III, the 119 Business Park in Center Township.

Separately, the 119 Business Park also received a $500,000 RACP grant to make additional improvements to get it ready for future development.

Also, $1 million was announced for the Indiana County-Jimmy Stewart Airport, according to Pittman and state Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana.

“This will help create the airport’s future growth, expand services and opportunities and strengthen Indiana County’s business and economic potential,” Struzzi said.

It coincides with efforts by U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, to get $750,000 in a federal Community Project grant for construction of a new hangar at the county airport in White Township.

North of the Jefferson County line, an additional $1 million grant was awarded to IUP for its Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney, according to Pittman and state Rep. Brian Smith, R-Punxsutawney.

That’s on top of previous state and federal grants received toward a project to replace a 32-year-old learning facility, including $500,000 obtained by Thompson from that same federal Community Project funding.

Oddly enough, reapportionment casts a shadow in different ways on these announcements.

Thompson will no longer represent White Township, where the airport is located, under a remapping of congressional districts overseen by the state Supreme Court earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Punxsutawney and other municipalities in the southern tier of Jefferson County are being moved from the 25th Senatorial District represented by Sen. Cris Dush, R-Clinton County, to the 41st Senatorial District represented by Pittman.