Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of six projects through the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) to assist local governments with planning for zoning, coordinating emergency services, and creating comprehensive plans.
“Pennsylvania’s municipalities and local governments rely on comprehensive planning to bring critical projects to fruition, and that planning is crucial now more than ever,” Gov. Wolf said. “This funding helps ensure communities have the resources they need to provide services to residents both now and in the future, which is especially important during this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19.”
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) recently approved nearly $228,000 in funding for six municipal projects throughout the state. Funding from MAP assists local governments to plan for and efficiently implement municipal projects available in three groups of activities: shared services, community planning, and floodplain management.
The approved projects are as follows:
- $23,000 to Upper Makefield Township, Newton Township, and Wrightstown Township in Bucks County to update the Newtown Area Joint Zoning Council (NAJZC) multi-municipal comprehensive plan, which will prepare the three townships to meet continuing growth pressures while protecting the area’s important natural and historic resources. The update will provide municipal officials with a solid foundation on which to base land use decisions and enact land use controls, moving forward into the next decade.
- $85,000 to Luzerne and Lackawanna counties’ Joint County Comprehensive and Long-Range Transportation Plan. Luzerne and Lackawanna counties have a history of working together on Transportation Planning issues. The two counties make up the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). In the past, the counties prepared a bi-county Comprehensive Plan and a Long-Range Transportation Plan and are ready to conduct an update to the combined plans.
- $37,500 to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission to provide an updated “toolbox” of model ordinance and reference materials to better enable their municipalities to address planning-level issues such as affordable housing, redevelopment, and rural development in consistent and effective means. This project will focus on providing these materials in an easy-to-use online format that is tailored to address the greatest current needs, but flexible enough to update to address changing issues and trends.
- $10,000 to the City of Lock Haven to support a project lead by Downtown Lock Haven, Inc., (DLH), which will use the funding to conduct a feasibility and market study of an historic downtown building. DLH is collaborating with the Clinton County Arts Council to bring a county cultural center to the heart of Lock Haven. They plan to adapt the Masonic Temple Lodge 199 to be the home of a new cultural center, preserving a historic structure and opening its doors to the community.
- $17,500 to the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation, which will embark on a plan to ensure the resiliency of Clarion County’s economy. Clarion County seeks to develop an economic development strategy to best leverage its unique assets to make the county a more livable, healthy, and prosperous place. Through this planning, Clarion County will seek implementable ways to leverage its assets and help build a stronger domestic supply chain for the United States.
- $55,000 to Washington County to update its comprehensive plan, which was originally completed back in 2005. The goal of updating the plan is to provide a large-scale blueprint for the growth and development of Washington County. The county will look at land use globally and establish targeted areas of investment for economic development; parks, open space and greenways; farmland preservation; public infrastructure, and transportation networks. The plan will establish priorities for county and local officials to implement as well as identify opportunities, obstacles and funding options for each section of the plan.
The Municipal Assistance Program, administered by DCED, provides technical resources and assistance for municipalities, consolidation, regional efforts as well as serving as a resource for local government officials, developers, and citizens interested in planning to improve, grow, and enhance communities.