136th District beneficiary of nearly $4 million in state funding

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, said Easton, Hellertown and Williams Township will benefit from a share in $3.96 million in state funding awarded to the district.

"This funding is great news for Lafayette College, the city of Easton and its school district, Hellertown and Williams Township," Freeman said. "Through these grants, these entities can move forward on important projects for the region -- projects that are designed to enhance safety or protect the environment."

The projects and awards are as follows:

  • Lafayette College in Easton will receive $1.1 million for its travelways improvement plan from the state's Multimodal Transportation Fund, which provides grants to enhance communities, improve pedestrian safety and boost transit revitalization.

  • Easton will receive $128,697 to improve pedestrian walkability and bicycle safety along the 13th Street corridor from the Multimodal fund; and $250,000 from the state's Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to erect a pedestrian bridge on the 2.5-mile Karl Stirney Arts Trail to connect the trail to the Simon Silk Mill. The greenways program promotes greenways, recreational space, open space, trails, parks and river conservation.

  • Easton Area School District will receive $2 million to renovate the K-5th grade Paxinosa Elementary School into a high performance building, complete with LED lighting, lighting occupancy sensor, low-flow water fixtures and high efficiency water heaters, air handlers, chiller and condensing boilers. After this renovation, an estimated $20 million project, the school should have an energy savings of 2,000 mmBtu and have a LEED gold rating. These funds came from the High Performance Building Program, which helps underwrite the cost associated with the design and construction or renovation of high performance buildings in the state.

  • Williams Township will receive $35,000 to purchase and install a diesel-powered generator at the public works building so the facility can serve as an emergency management operations center.

  • Hellertown will use its $435,000 to build a multi-use bike lane trail, with "share the road" signs, bump outs pavement markings and curb cuts along Water Street. This and the Williams Township project were made possible from the local share assessment account, which is generated by licensed gaming facilities to support community and economic development projects.

The funding was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency created by the legislature to administer a variety of the state's funding programs designed to help grow Pennsylvania's economy, create jobs and improve cultural and recreational assets in communities statewide.