Davis: Two Mon Valley projects awarded $250,000 in grants

Funding will support rehabilitation of Yough Riverfront Trail and capping gas wells at Clairton brownfield site

McKEESPORT, Sept. 20 – Two projects in the Mon Valley to improve a greenspace and brownfield site will receive a combined $250,000 boost in state funding, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today.

Funding was granted through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Davis said $100,000 from the CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program will support the third phase of improvements to 9 acres of property in Versailles Borough adjacent to the Youghiogheny Riverfront Trail and parking lot. The project includes removing debris, including reclaimed asphalt and brick, and addressing invasive and nonnative vegetation, along with installing benches and bike stands with native plantings.

“I’m pleased to see funding that will help clean up an area that’s accumulated piles of trash and other debris over the past few decades,” Davis said. “This is an effort to bring back some of the natural beauty near the trail and make it a more welcoming space for more people to enjoy the outdoors.”

The CFA also awarded $150,000 in Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging funds to cap two orphaned natural gas wells located on a 7.6-acre vacant brownfield site along State Street (Pa. Route 837) in Clairton City. The wells must be plugged before the site can be prepared for redevelopment.

“These natural gas wells have outlived their use from when the property was used for industrial purposes,” Davis said. “Plugging the wells is a step towards opening up new investments and redevelopment in an economically distressed area. The grant secured will help to prepare the property for future opportunities that would help to revitalize the Clairton community.”