Submit your LIHEAP applications now!

(Nov 27, 2018)

Home heating assistance program accepting applications Read more

 

Petrarca: $500,000 awarded to Derry Township Municipal Authority

(Nov 09, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 9 – State Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, today announced that the Derry Township Municipal Authority was awarded a $500,000 Community Conservation Partnership Program grant to be used for the development of a recreational trail in Westmoreland County. The grant, awarded through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will fund the development of the Loyalhanna Trail. The trail is expected to run through multiple townships – Derry and Salem – and New Alexandria Borough. “I’m happy to announce this funding,” Petrarca said. “This grant money will allow for the development of a trail that will connect two local parks and give residents an outlet to explore the wonderful scenery encompassed by the 55 th Legislative District.” Petrarca said the grant money will fund the construction of approximately 3.8 miles of trail from New Alexandria Borough Municipal Park to Keystone State Park; two trailheads and seven bridges; ADA access; landscaping; a project sign; and other site-related improvements. “A lot of individuals at the local level worked extremely hard to make this grant and project come to fruition, and I’m happy to say I was fortunate enough to play a part in securing this funding,” Petrarca said. “The benefits from this project will be felt across the 55 th Legislative District for years to come.” The DCNR’s Community Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 05, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Petrarca: New law expands prescription drug assistance to thousands of seniors

(Oct 24, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – A new law will expand access to the state’s prescription drug assistance program for thousands of additional seniors, according to state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D- Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. Petrarca said the new law – Act 87 of 2018 – increases the income eligibility limit for PACENET prescription drug assistance from $23,500 to $27,500 for single people and from $31,500 to $35,500 for married couples. “With the new, higher income limits for qualifying, the program is expected to reach an additional 17,000 seniors, including many in Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties,” Petrarca said. “I voted for this law because I believe that no senior should ever have to choose between paying for basic living expenses such as food, rent and heat on the one hand and essential prescription medications on the other. Our seniors are the backbone of our communities, and they deserve all the assistance the law can provide.” Petrarca noted that the new income limits take effect immediately, and he encouraged seniors who may have been ineligible before to determine whether they now qualify. Seniors can apply or learn more by calling the state Department of Aging at 1-800-225-7223 or by visiting https://pacecares.magellanhealth.com . Petrarca added that for help applying or more information, seniors can also call or visit his Vandergrift Office at 239 Longfellow St., (724) 567-6982; his Latrobe Office in the Read more

 

Petrarca: $5,000 state grant will help students explore career options in STEM, artificial intelligence fields

(Oct 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – A $5,000 state grant to the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District will give students a chance to explore careers in STEM-related fields and artificial intelligence, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will fund a district-wide initiative targeting career and college awareness learning experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as artificial intelligence. “This funding will give students a unique opportunity to learn more about STEM and AI-related jobs and how their own skills and interests match up with certain careers,” Petrarca said. “It’s an incredibly helpful first step for many young Pennsylvanians who are interested in these high-demand fields and are starting to navigate educational and career choices for the future.” The grant is part of a package of Career Readiness Mini-Grants awarded to districts statewide and funded through a Strategic Innovation Grant from L&I with state Reemployment Fund dollars. Read more

 

Petrarca: Grants of nearly $450,000 to improve Derry Township water quality

(Oct 16, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – Two state grants totaling $445,500 will fund projects to reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality in Derry Township, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grants the state Department of Environmental Protection awarded include $250,000 for storm water management to reduce runoff pollution to Sulfur Run and $195,500 for wetland construction along Lower Saxman Run. “These grants will fund practical ways to alleviate runoff pollution, which has been exacerbated by the severe storms that have hit Westmoreland County,” Petrarca said. “Runoff has posed a particular problem in the areas surrounding Sulfur Run and Lower Saxman Run, where mine discharge contaminants pose a threat to safe drinking water. Cost-effective solutions such as stormwater management and wetland construction have proven effective in restoring water quality. I fought hard for this funding, and I’m so glad to see these projects that will protect residents’ health now becoming a reality.” Petrarca noted that the DEP grants are being funded from the historic penalty assessed to Sunoco for violations related to the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. Grants were awarded for stormwater management, invasive species removal, forest restoration, farm runoff reduction, streambank restoration, and many other projects that ultimately improve water quality in Pennsylvania. Grantees Read more

 

Petrarca: Grant of nearly $96,000 will boost recycling for the City of Latrobe

(Oct 12, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 12 – A grant of $95,843 will bolster recycling efforts for the City of Latrobe, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection will support projects that include recycling and leaf collection, composting and related services. “This funding will help the City of Latrobe expand the kind of ‘green’ projects that benefit both the environment and our local economy,” Petrarca said. “Recycling saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it reduces the volume of material going into our landfills, which lowers waste disposal costs. “From a practical standpoint, the grant will allow our community to expand services for residents engaged in projects such as composting leaf waste, which can’t be disposed of in landfills or burned. Like any municipal service, there are expenses associated with recycling and collection. Thanks to this grant, taxpayers trying to be responsible stewards of the environment will not have to shoulder the burden on their own.” The grant – part of a package of Recycling Development and Implementation Grants from DEP – is available to fund county and municipal projects such as operating leaf compost facilities, expanding recycling processing facilities; installing data-collection systems on recycling vehicles, continuing and creating Read more

 

Governor Wolf announces aid to support recovery efforts from severe storms in Southwestern Pennsylvania

(Oct 11, 2018)

Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved his request to declare a disaster in Westmoreland County after significant flood damage to homes and businesses from a severe storm on Sept. 9, 2018. Homeowners, renters and businesses impacted by the storm in Westmoreland County, as well as neighboring counties Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset and Washington may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs. The SBA will establish a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) to assist anyone who wishes to apply for a loan. The DLOC will be open at the following location and times: West Newton Public Library 124 North Water Street West Newton, PA 15089 Opening: Friday, October 12: 11 a.m. Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, October 13: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, October 14: closed Closing: Friday, October 19: 4 p.m. You can read more here . Read more

 

Petrarca applauds House passage of organ donation bill

(Oct 10, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said he applauds the House’s passage today of a bill he believes would re-establish Pennsylvania as a leader in organ and tissue donation awareness and transplantation. Senate Bill 180 – which now heads to the governor’s desk – would help ensure more patients in need have access to lifesaving organs and would further educate the public about the need for donors. Petrarca, who has worked on organ donation legislation for several years and introduced a similar measure last year, said the bill is a long-overdue update to Pennsylvania’s original organ donation law. “I’m delighted that the House voted unanimously to pass an amended version of this bill,” said Petrarca, who has served by gubernatorial appointment on the state’s organ donation advisory committee since its inception in 1995. “Someone in Pennsylvania dies every 18 hours waiting for an organ that never arrives. With statistics like that, we can’t afford to delay any longer. This is about giving the gift of life to more than 8,000 people statewide on the waiting list for organ donations. Today’s vote moves us one step closer to that.” In addition to helping patients and educating the public, Petrarca noted that the bill would improve communications between county coroners or medical examiners and organ procurement organizations and help ensure Read more

 

Petrarca: Schools in 55th Legislative District to receive $112,500 in safety grants

(Oct 04, 2018)

VANDERGRIFT, Oct. 4 – Several area school districts have been awarded $112,500 in school safety grants, according to state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. Petrarca said the districts will use the grants for various resources, including implementing safety programs and hiring school resource or police officers. “This funding is a great step forward,” Petrarca said. “School safety needs may vary across the district, but one thing is universal: a safe, secure environment is essential to learning. These grants will allow schools to move forward with various safety solutions they’ve determined are necessary to give students, teachers and other school workers the safe surroundings and peace of mind they need.” Petrarca noted that the specific funding includes the following: $32,500 in 2018-19 School Police Officer grant funding to the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District. $20,000 in Safe Schools Program grant funding for 2018-19 to the Greater Latrobe School District. $30,000 in second-year funding from a 2017-18 School Resource Officer grant to the Greater Latrobe School District. $30,000 in second-year funding from a 2017-18 School Resource Officer grant to the Apollo Ridge School District. The grants are awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Targeted Safe School Grants program. A total of $8.4 million in competitive grants has been awarded to prevent and Read more

 

Petrarca: Grant awarded to fund Apollo Memorial Library upgrades

(Sep 20, 2018)

VANDERGRIFT, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today that a $23,100 Keystone Library Grant he worked to bring to the district has been approved to fund multiple upgrades to Armstrong County’s Apollo Memorial Library. The grant will be used to replace the library’s flat rubber roof, upgrade to LED and new panel lighting and repaint the library’s interior. “I’m thrilled about this funding, which will revitalize one of Apollo Borough’s most essential resources,” Petrarca said. “The library plays such a key role in our community because it serves so many different needs for residents – from offering free information, educational opportunities and access to computer technology, to providing children with stimulating programs and spaces to explore books and the arts, to providing a gathering place for community discussions. “The economic benefits are equally important – the library is an anchor that draws people and creates economic opportunities for surrounding businesses. This funding is a terrific investment both for our community and the local economy. I want to thank the Department of Education for approving these funds.” The grant – part of a package to 27 public libraries statewide – is funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The state Department of Education’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries Read more

 

Petrarca: More than $1 million in grants to help fund water, sewer improvement projects in Westmoreland County

(Sep 18, 2018)

DERRY, Sept. 18 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, today announced more than $1 million in grants he worked to bring to the district have been approved to fund critical water and sewer system upgrades in Westmoreland County. The funding, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, includes: $278,034 to the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Derry to upgrade the borough’s deteriorating waterline on North Chestnut Street, which contains lead joints. $245,000 to the Derry Township Municipal Authority to extend sewer service to 10 existing residences along Peach Hollow Road by installing nearly 3,000 feet of sanitary sewer pipe. $72,101 to the Derry Township Municipal Authority to reline nearly 2,000 feet of existing pipe along Industrial Boulevard, Pandora Road and Station Street. $424,996 to the Unity Township Municipal Authority to install 4,000 feet of sanitary sewer line to serve two businesses that are expanding operations. “The grants approved today will help provide critical water and sanitary sewer improvements for areas that have struggled with outdated or malfunctioning systems for years,” Petrarca said. “In addition, the Unity Township project will address the needs of two large area employers that are limited because of existing sanitary sewer constraints and are dependent on the extension of services to expand operations. “I want to thank the CFA board for approving this Read more

 

Rep. Petrarca's Fall 2018 Newsletter

(Sep 04, 2018)

Read my Fall 2018 Newsletter. Read more

 

Petrarca: Rebates available for clean car purchases

(Aug 29, 2018)

State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, wants to remind Pennsylvanians that the state continues to offer cash rebates of up to $2,000 for residents who purchase alternative fuel vehicles. Read more

 

Are you missing a Purple Heart medal?

(Aug 15, 2018)

The Pennsylvania Treasurer's Office -- which holds unclaimed property until its rightful owners are found -- recently announced that it currently holds 16 unclaimed Purple Heart medals and 18 Purple Heart pins, ribbons, and other related decorations for the veterans who earned the distinguished service award or their rightful heirs. The Purple Heart quite possibility could be the clearest symbol of American military sacrifice. This distinguished award should be cherished by the service members who earned them and by their families. If you or someone you love is missing a Purple Heart medal, pin, ribbon or other related decorations, contact the state Treasurer's Office at 1-800-222-2046 or via email at tupmail@patreasury.gov . Potential claimants also may search the treasury’s website . Read more

 

Health Care Report-Summer 2018

(Aug 14, 2018)

Click here for the latest updates about health legislation in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Veterans Update - Summer 2018

(Aug 13, 2018)

Click here to read my latest Veterans Report Read more

 

Petrarca: Grant to help Saint Vincent prepare students for 21st century

(Aug 06, 2018)

State Rep. Joseph Petrarca said he is delighted to announce that Saint Vincent College in Latrobe has been selected to receive a $1 million state grant which will assist the college with its $19 million expansion of the Latimer Family Library on campus. Read more

 

Petrarca: $3 million in low-interest loans will help local businesses expand

(Jul 12, 2018)

WESTMORELAND, July 12 – Low-interest loans to two area businesses will help those companies expand to meet growing customer demand while creating or retaining about 125 area jobs, according to state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. The companies – Astley Precision Machine Co. Inc. and Zilka & Company, LLC – will receive just over $3 million. “It’s always great news when area businesses need to expand to meet growing customer demand, but the costs of expansion – which usually entails new construction or extensive renovation – can be a heavy financial burden,” Petrarca said. “The low-interest loans approved today will help ensure these companies, which are so well-rooted in our community and give so much back in terms of jobs and economic health, will continue to thrive and expand.” The loans and expansion projects are: Astley Precision Machine Co. Inc. This maker of precision machined components for the medical, scientific and defense industries was approved for a $1.05 million, 10-year loan with 20-year amortization at a 2.5 percent rate with a 5-year reset through Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland. The company has outgrown its current 17,000-square-foot facility and will require a larger facility to meet customer demand. The loan will enable the company to acquire and renovate a 51,000-square-foot building in Irwin, two miles from the current site. The company will Read more

 

Petrarca says new Mister Rogers Trail will highlight area tourism

(Jun 29, 2018)

LATROBE, June 29 – With today's announcement of a new Mister Rogers Trail, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca said it will show the rest of the state and beyond what many in the area already know about its sneaker-wearing, cardigan-sweater-clad hometown legend. "This tourism trail will allow visitors to see and experience the numerous iconic locations in Latrobe, Ligonier and Pittsburgh that are affiliated with Fred Rogers, the loveable and entertaining host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, who appeared in many homes every afternoon for decades with his 'Neighborhood of Make-Believe' and a colorful cast of neighbors," Petrarca said. “More than any other children’s show, Mister Rogers’ left a mark on generations of children, teaching civility, patience and respect for others. But Latrobe native Fred Rogers did more than that -- he taught kids that it was OK to express their feelings and frustrations and that they would still be safe and loved. It’s hard to imagine more important life lessons.” The trail is a three-day road trip that starts in Latrobe and ends in Pittsburgh, where Rogers filmed his TV show, with many stops throughout, including: Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College: featuring recorded interviews with Rogers, a look at his life "before the sweater" and other memorabilia. Fred Rogers Statue in James H. Rogers Park: an opportunity for visitors to take a selfie while sitting on Read more

 

Submit your LIHEAP applications now!
Nov 27, 2018

Petrarca: $500,000 awarded to Derry Township Municipal Authority
Nov 09, 2018

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open
Nov 05, 2018

Petrarca: New law expands prescription drug assistance to thousands of seniors
Oct 24, 2018

Petrarca: $5,000 state grant will help students explore career options in STEM, artificial intelligence fields
Oct 18, 2018

Petrarca: Grants of nearly $450,000 to improve Derry Township water quality
Oct 16, 2018

Petrarca: Grant of nearly $96,000 will boost recycling for the City of Latrobe
Oct 12, 2018

Governor Wolf announces aid to support recovery efforts from severe storms in Southwestern Pennsylvania
Oct 11, 2018

Petrarca applauds House passage of organ donation bill
Oct 10, 2018

Petrarca: Schools in 55th Legislative District to receive $112,500 in safety grants
Oct 04, 2018

Petrarca: Grant awarded to fund Apollo Memorial Library upgrades
Sep 20, 2018

Petrarca: More than $1 million in grants to help fund water, sewer improvement projects in Westmoreland County
Sep 18, 2018

Rep. Petrarca's Fall 2018 Newsletter
Sep 04, 2018

Petrarca: Rebates available for clean car purchases
Aug 29, 2018

Are you missing a Purple Heart medal?
Aug 15, 2018

Health Care Report-Summer 2018
Aug 14, 2018

Veterans Update - Summer 2018
Aug 13, 2018

Petrarca: Grant to help Saint Vincent prepare students for 21st century
Aug 06, 2018

Petrarca: $3 million in low-interest loans will help local businesses expand
Jul 12, 2018

Petrarca says new Mister Rogers Trail will highlight area tourism
Jun 29, 2018