Burns: $22.5 million available for community watershed and water quality projects

(Apr 26, 2021)

Urges schools, local governments and nonprofits to apply Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $23,000 awarded to educate Erie students on watershed, climate change issues

(Apr 22, 2021)

ERIE, April 22 – Area students will learn more about stewardship of Erie’s unique watershed and the impact of climate change thanks to nearly $23,000 in grants to support environmental education, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today, on Earth Day. The lawmakers said the grants from the Department of Environmental Protection will fund hands-on teaching models for K-12 students. “Climate change isn’t an abstract concept that can be taught in textbooks,” Harkins said. “The reality is that it impacts critical life-sustaining issues like local food access. This funding is going to allow the Erie City School District to establish two middle school greenhouses that will serve as outdoor classrooms, planting the seeds of awareness that give students an understanding of the importance of climate issues.” Merski said, “Our students grow up by the water’s edge, and that experience becomes a part of their identity. But enjoying the lake’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities isn’t the same as understanding how to care for our unique and delicate watershed. It’s incumbent on us to make sure we pass along that knowledge, and the new wetland model will be a great tool for that.” The grants include: • $20,000 to the Regional Science Consortium to construct an Interactive Wetland Model to support K-12 nonformal Read more

 

Merski: $2.5 million loan to fund critical upgrades for Summit Township sewage system

(Apr 21, 2021)

ERIE, April 21 – A $2.5 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority will fund a project to substantially increase sewage handling capacity at Summit Township’s Oliver Road pump station, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today. Merski said the loan to the Erie City Water Authority will fund work to replace the pump station and several thousand feet of force main pipeline and gravity sewer so the system can handle additional connections. “Like much of our region’s aging infrastructure, the Oliver Road pump station has reached the end of its useful life, and recent development in the area is placing overloads on the system,” Merski said. “Summit Township is under a corrective action plan prohibiting new connections until sewage capacity is increased. “Replacing the pump station will increase capacity from 180 to 800 gallons per minute and allow the system to meet the demands of new and future growth. It’s estimated that the upgrades will enhance service for more than 57,000 residents. They will also reduce the danger of untreated or inadequately treated sewage discharging into local waterways that drain into Elk Creek and Lake Erie.” Merski said that in addition to replacing the pump station, the work will include replacing a 4-inch force main pipeline with 2,000 feet of 8-inch force main, 4,100 Read more

 

Burns: Popular Ghost Town Trail awarded $249,000 state grant for expansion

(Apr 21, 2021)

Funding will assist with expansion loop in Ebensburg, Blacklick Read more

 

Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $1M in state grants awarded for Mercer County revitalization, wetland restoration

(Apr 21, 2021)

HERMITAGE, April 21 – Grants totaling $934,589 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will fund revitalization of an important Sharon thoroughfare and help preserve Buhl Park wetland areas, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding includes $729,589 to Sharon under the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund Program for Phase 3 of the Sharon Revitalization Project. “The Irvine Avenue corridor is a critical gateway for visitors to Sharon, but the corridor has fallen into significant disrepair,” Longietti said. Funding for this project will address access and safety issues to improve travel for area residents, attract more consumers from neighboring Ohio and spur greater economic development for the resurging downtown area.” Brooks said: “Enhancing the Irvine Avenue corridor will help not only our local residents, but also our local businesses and commercial transportation. Working together with City Manager Robert Fiscus on this substantial transportation project helped make this forward-thinking initiative successful.” The project will include removing the current road surface, leveling and replacing the road surface, removing and replacing sidewalks with Americans with Disabilities Act compliant materials, and installing safe waiting areas for public transit and for bicycle racks. Read more

 

Burns: $900,000 in state funding approved for local drinking water projects

(Apr 21, 2021)

PENNVEST grants will help offset costs, keep rates low Read more

 

Burns: $451,900 grant to help with Laurel Ridge recreation access road project

(Apr 21, 2021)

Burns previously worked with local residents to save area from windfarm Read more

 

Bizzarro announces more than $60,000 coming to Erie

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced will receive grants totaling $ 63,083 from the state's Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. “The great outdoors have given our community a reprieve from the difficulties of this past year and I am always happy to see state dollars come back to Erie. Investing in maintaining and improving outdoor space helps keep Erie healthy and thriving,” Bizzarro said. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will use their $63,083 grant to aid with invasive species control on high priority sites in Northwestern Pennsylvania including Erie County. The Commonwealth Financing Authority’s GTRP funds planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. Read more

 

House unanimously passes Longietti/Nelson bill to help save drug rehab patients who leave facilities against medical advice

(Apr 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – Loved ones of patients who check themselves out of drug rehabilitation facilities against medical advice would have a chance to learn of those potentially ill-fated decisions while there is still time to intervene under legislation the House passed unanimously today, according to the bill’s co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Mark Longietti. House Bill 944 , co-authored by Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland, would require inpatient rehabilitation facilities to notify a patient’s designated emergency contact – a move that is already considered best practice but is not mandatory under current law – when a patient leaves addiction treatment against medical advice. “The science shows that people in the throes of addiction have diminished capacity for good decision-making and are easily lured back to drugs by their dealers or enablers,” Longietti said. “And sadly, statistics show the notification gap has resulted in overdose deaths as well as victimization of vulnerable patients. “Requiring facilities to notify emergency contacts when patients discharge themselves against medical advice doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome, but it opens a window for lifesaving intervention by giving family members a chance to get their loved ones back to a safe place.” Longietti said the bill does not change anything about protected confidential information governed by Read more

 

Longietti, Brooks: $1.23 million state grant awarded for Hermitage Town Center project

(Apr 16, 2021)

HERMITAGE, April 16 – An investment of $1.23 million will allow the city of Hermitage to continue to advance the vision for a transformative town center project, state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, and Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Awarded under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund this morning, the funding provides a second round of infrastructure dollars for the planned Hermitage Town Center project at the Shenango Valley Mall site, the lawmakers said. “Securing this funding helps lay the groundwork for realizing our vision of a thriving regional hub for Hermitage that will attract business and commercial activity, create jobs, draw visitors, and provide new housing, recreational and entertainment options for our community,” Longietti said. “This project has the power to transform our region, and it’s truly exciting seeing the work beginning to take shape from the ground up.” The grant will fund excavation and paving work for new roads, curbs and sidewalks; installation of stormwater facilities; and the completion of landscaping and other improvements, the legislators explained. Brooks said, “This funding builds upon our other successful efforts to fulfill the future plans for the Hermitage Town Center, which will add to the vibrancy, quality of life and economic growth of Mercer County and the Read more

 

Burns: $793,000 coming to make Loretto, Portage safer

(Apr 16, 2021)

Grants ensure equality in state funding Read more

 

Longietti co-sponsoring free shred event in Hermitage Saturday, April 24

(Apr 15, 2021)

HERMITAGE, April 15 – State Rep. Mark Longietti is encouraging residents to bring unwanted documents to a free shredding event starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 24 at the Shenango Valley Senior Community Center, located at 220 N. Buhl Farm Drive in Hermitage. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the event – which will continue until noon or until the shred truck is full – provides a safe, convenient way for residents to guard against fraud and identity theft. "The spate of recent scams targeting cell phone and computer users has focused our attention lately on avoiding tech-based fraud, but we should not lose sight of the fact that criminals can find a trove of personal information in improperly discarded documents,” Longietti said. “Our shredding event is a perfect opportunity to dispose of old credit card or bank statements; unneeded tax, insurance or medical records; or any other documents with sensitive personal information. “Residents can bring up to three boxes or bags of paper, and with volunteers unloading and depositing the documents for on-site shredding, folks can remain in their vehicles throughout. It’s a simple, secure way to ensure sensitive personal information does not end up in the wrong hands.” Longietti is co-sponsoring the event with the Mercer County Area Agency on Aging, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources, and the Better Business Read more

 

Burns: Ebensburg awarded $43,000 for Main Street Partnership

(Apr 14, 2021)

Grant to help with impacts of pandemic on program Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Erie Downtown Partnership awarded $50,000 grant for pandemic relief

(Apr 14, 2021)

ERIE, April 14 – A $50,000 state grant will provide pandemic assistance to a critical Erie community development organization, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding to the Erie Downtown Partnership will allow the collaborative to replenish resources exhausted by the pandemic. “As COVID created new and immediate concerns for businesses and neighborhoods, community development organizations like Erie Downtown Partnership were forced to shift priorities from long-term revitalization and renewal to addressing more urgent community needs, and they are playing an important part in our recovery” Merski said. “This funding will help replenish resources for the collaborative so it can continue its vital role in rebuilding our downtown.” Harkins said: “Our business community and neighborhoods have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year, but Erie’s partnership of business and property owners, organizations and other stakeholders have been tireless in their resolve to get us back on the path to recovery. This funding is an investment that keeps us moving in that direction.” The grant is part of a package of nearly $2 million to 43 projects statewide that have been approved for funding under the COVID-19 Relief - Supporting Elm and Main program. The Read more

 

Burns: $414,000 state grant to support tech in schools

(Apr 13, 2021)

Grant will help expand access to STEM in rural areas Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $238,000 in funding awarded to bolster tech, computer curriculum for low-income Erie students

(Apr 13, 2021)

ERIE, April 13 – Grant funding of $237,909 from the state Department of Education will bring a tech-enriched curriculum – including classes in robotics and coding – to students at Erie RISE Leadership Academy Charter School, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding under the PAsmart Advancing Grants program promises to help low-income and minority students compete in an increasingly tech-intensive modern workplace. “Being tech-savvy is no longer considered an added bonus in the workplace – it’s a required skill that employers are demanding for most high-paying, family-sustaining jobs,” Merski said. “Securing this funding is going to help level the playing field for students in underserved, low-income communities by teaching them skills that provide an entry into computer science and tech fields.” Harkins said, “The funding to Erie RISE is exciting because it will allow the school to add to its curriculum in ways that we know provide a pathway to good jobs. By teaching skills like robotics and coding, we’re giving kids a foundation in the kinds of concrete, tech-based subjects that allow them to compete later on. We’re also building a stronger pool of candidates for local employers and earners who can invest that money back into the community.” Read more

 

Sainato: $75,000 awarded to help fund new canoe/kayak launch in New Castle

(Apr 13, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, April 13 – A $75,000 grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will help fund design and construction of a new canoe and kayak launch that will provide area boaters easier access to the Shenango River, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant to Human Services Center under the Boating Facility Grant Program will help finance the center’s plans to add the launch to its one-acre property located in New Castle. “We’re so fortunate here in Lawrence County to share our home with part of the Shenango River, which was recently named River of the Year by Pennsylvania voters,” Sainato said. “In addition to the natural beauty, the river provides a great source of healthy exercise for the many residents in our area who enjoy canoeing and kayaking. “Access to the river has not always been as convenient as it could be for many residents here in New Castle because the closest public boat launch facilities are several miles away. This funding is going to help bring those boaters one step closer to the water’s edge so they can spend less time commuting and more time doing what they love.” Sainato said that in addition to the launch, the project includes plans for the construction of an ADA-accessible fishing pier and installation of a small walking trail, picnic tables, benches and other minor site amenities. Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: More than $800,000 awarded to fund Erie recreational fishing projects

(Apr 12, 2021)

ERIE, April 12 – Erie anglers will enjoy enhanced fishing opportunities thanks to $804,200 in newly awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers – both members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee – said most projects are being funded through the Erie Access Improvement Grant Program, which was recently expanded based on legislation co-authored by Harkins and Erie colleague Rep. Parke Wentling. “Our legislation created greater flexibility to use the proceeds of fishing permit revenue by expanding permissible projects beyond access and habitat related projects to all public fishing-related projects,” Harkins said. “We wanted to see folks benefit more broadly from the fees they pay into the system. That flexibility is now there, and it’s terrific to see it yielding results for local anglers.” Merski said, “It’s great to see these dollars going back into funding projects to enrich recreational opportunities on the water. Projects like the pier are especially exciting because they will allow more residents – including veterans who may have mobility issues – to get there and cast their lines.” The lawmakers said the following projects are funded by the Erie Access Improvement program: $202,200 to Western Read more

 

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – As Pennsylvania expands vaccine eligibility, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from the manufacturers tirelessly working to develop safe and effective vaccines for global use. At a Policy Committee hearing today, testifiers included representatives from Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Pfizer, who provided details on the technology behind the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and how the United States can reach herd immunity. Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker facilitated the hearing, where Amy Walker, director of Infectious Diseases Policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Lisa Coen, senior director, Vaccine Public Affairs with Pfizer, shared insight into the science behind the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, ongoing research, development and trials. Walker shared that five presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have been vaccinated, highlighting that the vaccines have received bipartisan support. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have conversations based on science and fact. These vaccines will save lives and I encourage everyone eligible and interested to take the advice of scientists and medical professionals and help put this pandemic behind us,” Bizzarro implored. “It is important for us to hear this testimony today, especially for my constituents,” Parker said. “Communities of color have battled COVID extra Read more

 

Burns secures $100,000 state grant for Cambria Heights High School renovation project

(Apr 09, 2021)

Project will create multi-use area for school, community Read more

 

Burns: $22.5 million available for community watershed and water quality projects
Apr 26, 2021

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $23,000 awarded to educate Erie students on watershed, climate change issues
Apr 22, 2021

Merski: $2.5 million loan to fund critical upgrades for Summit Township sewage system
Apr 21, 2021

Burns: Popular Ghost Town Trail awarded $249,000 state grant for expansion
Apr 21, 2021

Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $1M in state grants awarded for Mercer County revitalization, wetland restoration
Apr 21, 2021

Burns: $900,000 in state funding approved for local drinking water projects
Apr 21, 2021

Burns: $451,900 grant to help with Laurel Ridge recreation access road project
Apr 21, 2021

Bizzarro announces more than $60,000 coming to Erie
Apr 21, 2021

House unanimously passes Longietti/Nelson bill to help save drug rehab patients who leave facilities against medical advice
Apr 20, 2021

Longietti, Brooks: $1.23 million state grant awarded for Hermitage Town Center project
Apr 16, 2021

Burns: $793,000 coming to make Loretto, Portage safer
Apr 16, 2021

Longietti co-sponsoring free shred event in Hermitage Saturday, April 24
Apr 15, 2021

Burns: Ebensburg awarded $43,000 for Main Street Partnership
Apr 14, 2021

Merski, Harkins: Erie Downtown Partnership awarded $50,000 grant for pandemic relief
Apr 14, 2021

Burns: $414,000 state grant to support tech in schools
Apr 13, 2021

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $238,000 in funding awarded to bolster tech, computer curriculum for low-income Erie students
Apr 13, 2021

Sainato: $75,000 awarded to help fund new canoe/kayak launch in New Castle
Apr 13, 2021

Harkins, Merski: More than $800,000 awarded to fund Erie recreational fishing projects
Apr 12, 2021

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery
Apr 12, 2021

Burns secures $100,000 state grant for Cambria Heights High School renovation project
Apr 09, 2021