Patton Township recognizes Conklin for crucial support in sinkhole crisis; successfully disperses funds to impacted residents

STATE COLLEGE, Sept. 15 – This week marked a milestone for Patton Township as it honored state Rep. Scott Conklin and his executive director, Nicholas Himebaugh, on Wednesday for their advocacy and support in helping residents displaced by the massive sinkhole that engulfed a Georgetown Park townhome complex last Christmas.

Conklin, D-Centre, was instrumental in securing $180,000 in state funds for immediate relief, which the township has successfully dispersed to help severely impacted residents with emergency shelter needs and the costs of engineering assessments, inspections and renovations.

“My team and I are humbled and deeply moved by the proclamation and standing ovation we received,” Conklin said. “I extend my gratitude to Supervisor Robb, the entire board and the township staff for their dedicated work in this collaboration. My executive director, Nicholas Himebaugh, has been pivotal in ensuring these funds were secured and effectively delivered.”

“Working alongside Representative Conklin to serve the Patton Township community has been profoundly rewarding,” Himebaugh said. “His unwavering commitment to the residents of the 77th District showcases his passion for serving as their voice in the People’s House.”

Conklin noted that last year, 3.3 million Americans were displaced because of natural disasters – a figure that increases substantially when accounting for “unnatural' disasters” like sinkholes from burst pipes. Following the sinkhole disaster, Conklin introduced legislation that would allow hotels and motels to receive a state tax credit equal to the discounted or comped cost of a room donated to a Pennsylvania family affected by disaster situations.

“Disasters like sinkholes or floods expose the gaps in our relief systems,” Conklin said. “Our commonwealth must continue to evolve its support networks to ensure that no victim – however 'small' their disaster may seem on a federal scale – slips through the cracks.”