Innamorato: $475,000 in grants awarded for economic development projects

Funding distributed through Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28— State Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, announced $475,000 in grants has been awarded to three community organizations to help fund economic development projects.

The money comes from the PA Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund, which funds community and economic development projects in Allegheny County through revenues generated from all casinos. The program provides grants for single-year and multi-year projects, including economic projects, infrastructure and community improvements, job training, public safety, public interest and administration costs.

The grants will help fund projects in Etna, Sharpsburg, Aspinwall and Millvale:

  • $175,000 to Etna Community Organization for the Etna Center for Community project: The funding will be used to purchase a historic building in the heart of Etna's business district. This will be the future site of the Etna Center for Community.

  • $150,000 to Pittsburgh Ballet Theater for the SAM-450 Mobile Stage project: The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will develop a staging site for a SAM-450 mobile stage as a seasonal performance venue at Allegheny Shores. The mobile stage will become an integral component to the $1.15B economic development project slated for the one-and-a-half-mile site along the Allegheny River spanning Sharpsburg at 13th street to Aspinwall at Center Avenue. The SAM-450 is a 66,000-pound mobile stage that provides a 3,400 square-foot stage at approximately 45 feet deep by 78 feet wide in performance area.

  • $150,000 to Millvale Borough for Bennett Station Town Square project: This project will repair, replace and insulate the 6,300 square-foot roof and downspouts. It will also repair the roof access portal and door, remove and replace three phase electrical service, and repair and replace the exterior loading dock garage and walls.

“The funds for a community library in Etna and a home for the Millvale Community Development Corporation will bring to life sustainable, resident-driven redevelopment that will benefit the neighborhoods around them. The Pittsburgh Ballet mobile stage project will bring the arts directly to our community members and attract visitors from the region to experience the Main Streets of Sharpsburg and Aspinwall,” said Innamorato.

“The Millvale Community Development Corporation is extremely grateful for the support received from the Economic Development Grant. The grant will allow us to secure the structural integrity of a building in the main business district which suffered a fire a few years back. It also enables us to put on a new roof with solar panels. There is much excitement surrounding this long-awaited project,” said Jaime Renda, a member of the MCDC.

“The Etna Community Organization is so grateful to the local and state officials, as well as the Allegheny County Economic Development Department, for advocating for and believing in our mission to develop the Etna Center for Community,” said Megan Tuñón, executive director of the
Etna Community Organization. “These funds have made it possible for Etna to establish a community library and community space that will offer programs and services that directly respond to the needs of residents. This is a game changer for the people of Etna.”

More than $9.3 million was awarded to 33 projects in Allegheny County through this round of GEDTF grant funding.