Conklin: $170,891 coming to fight blight in Philipsburg, Rush Township

Demolition, rehabilitation to be funded by state grants

HARRISBURG, May 25 – Eight abandoned, dangerous properties in Rush Township will be demolished and two properties in Philipsburg’s Historic Downtown will be rehabilitated though a combined $170,891 in state funding, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced today.

Conklin, D-Centre, said the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a $90,000 grant to Rush Township, providing 90% of the cost of its eight-property demolition project. It will include any required lead and asbestos abatement, backfilling and grading of sites, and seeding and mulching for stabilization.

Conklin said the CFA’s separate award of $80,891 represents the entire cost of the Philipsburg project, in which the Philipsburg Revitalization Corp. is rehabilitating sites at 110-104 N. Front St. to be marketed as an incubator to artists and entrepreneurs. This reclaiming of unsafe structures includes HVAC installation, updated flooring, and electrical, façade and roof work.

“It’s critically important that we remove blighted and unsafe structures from the landscape when they are beyond saving,” Conklin said. “But, it’s equally important to save buildings that are in good enough shape to be repurposed, especially when they are located in an area of historic significance.

“I’m pleased to see that with this round of CFA funding, our area will be able to accomplish goals that – while different – are driven by and meet local needs.”

The state’s Blight Remediation Program includes funding for the acquisition, demolition and/or rehabilitation of blighted properties or properties affected by natural disasters – including the clearing and preparing of land for future use and projects resulting in visible improvements.