Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $500,000 awarded for Mercer County recreational projects

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – New grant funding of nearly $477,000 will expand recreational opportunities for Mercer County residents, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today.

The city of Hermitage will receive $230,904 for a dek hockey facility. The grant will fund excavation, installation of a concrete pad, decking, a rink, boards, lighting, fencing and other amenities.

“Serving on Jamestown Borough Council, I saw firsthand how important these spaces were for local families to spend time together. There has been widespread interest and a demand from the community and surrounding area families for such a facility to enhance recreational opportunities for both youth and adults,” Brooks said. “In addition to expanding recreational opportunities for families, it will also help to attract others to the area – resulting in positive economic impacts.”

Longietti said, "Hermitage residents have expressed a strong interest in new recreational options. Funding for the hockey facility is a great investment that will introduce residents of all ages to a new sport while also boosting the local economy as visitors to the rink patronize area shops and businesses."

The second grant, in the amount of $220,854, will be allocated to the Mercer County Park Renovation project to renovate a 40-year-old park behind the Shenango Township Building. Funding will be used for the installation of hard surface pathways and the construction of a 13,950 square foot hard surface play area. The hard surface pathways will provide wheelchair access to existing pavilions, restrooms and play areas. The play area will include a basketball court, two pickleball courts, a batting cage, bocce court, small children’s basketball court and a playground with fencing and benches.

“These renovations will allow the township to offer more community outreach programs, including senior sport leagues and tournaments, as well as youth and recruitment events held by the police and fire departments,” Brooks said. “Residents will have more opportunities to develop friendships with others in the community and to foster relationships with township officials, police departments and fire departments.”

Longietti said, “The grant to Shenango Township will allow it to expand a well-loved, widely used park that has hosted decades of activities. The new funding will provide exciting new recreational opportunities, while the addition of asphalt walking surfaces, benches, and ADA-compliant paths will ensure the new areas are accessible to residents of all ages and abilities.”

Finally, a $25,000 grant to the city of Sharon will go toward development of a new ballpark.

The grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority under its Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.