Pashinski announces CFA grants for Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes University

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today announced the approval of three Commonwealth Financing Authority grants totaling $878,287 for the City of Wilkes-Barre and Wilkes University.  

The funds will go toward three separate projects, including:

  • $299,999 to the City of Wilkes-Barre for flood mitigation to replace a retaining wall along Solomon Creek;
  • $75,000 to the City of Wilkes-Barre to rehabilitate Weissman Park; and
  • $503,288 to Wilkes University for pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements along Northampton Street in Edwardsville Borough.

“These three grants are all incredibly worthwhile projects that will increase the safety, beauty and recreational appeal for Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding communities,” Pashinski said. “I’ve been working with both Wilkes and Wilkes-Barre on securing grant funding, and I’m certainly appreciative to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for recognizing the value these projects generate for our area.”

Wilkes-Barre plans to replace a 115-foot section of the Solomon Creek retaining wall on the Brook Street side of the creek between Waller and Barney streets. One 48-foot section of the wall has completely collapsed, exposing underground utility lines, while the remaining section of wall is leaning and could collapse at any time.

In Weissman Park, Wilkes-Barre plans to rehabilitate deteriorated recreational facilities. These repairs include fixing or replacing swings, slides, jungle gyms, picnic tables and a pavilion. The city also plans to create an ADA-compliant walkway to access the park.

Officials at Wilkes University plan to create pedestrian improvements near the university’s Ralston Athletic Complex. Beginning at the southern end of Northampton Street and running north to North Gates Avenue, this project includes the construction of new ADA-compliant sidewalks, replacing non-compliant stone paths, installation of new LED pedestrian street and walkway lighting, reconstruction of concrete curbs and removal and replacement of trees.

“There are presently no sidewalks for pedestrians or the handicapped to use,” Pashinski said. “The current situation is incredibly dangerous for everyone travelling on Northampton Street, and I look forward to the completion of this project so that the entire area is safe for drivers and pedestrians alike.”

The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA consists of seven board members: four legislative appointees and the secretaries of DCED, the Office of the Budget and Department of Banking.