The Leader Times: Kittanning Borough is awarded $500K from the SPC for streetscape project

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) is awarding Kittanning Borough $500,000 in grant funding to support pedestrian and accessibility improvements for its streetscape project, according to a recently issued press release.

“Kittanning’s streetscape project is an ongoing initiative that has been a borough-driven initiative that the county fully supports,” said John Strate, chairman of Armstrong County’s board of commissioners. “The borough played significant role in our region’s history, and making these kinds of efforts to beautify and revitalize the downtown area for our residents and small business owners is another step in helping to grow the local economy.”

SPC recently completed the selection process for its discretionary competitive grant program which selects certain projects in the region to receive federal funding. The organization has a selection committee that reviews grant applications submitted from counties and municipalities within its coverage area. The grant applications are then competitively reviewed and scored to ensure that these projects adhere to federal standards. “I am encouraged investments continue to be made throughout Kittanning to revitalize the community. The (SPC) funds will complement the recent $500,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP) funding my office helped secure for this important initiative. These improvements will build upon the revitalization efforts that were made on Market Street over the last several years,” State Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) said. “I look forward to continuing to support these efforts and working with the SPC, Armstrong County Commissioners, Rep. Donna Oberlander and Kittanning Borough Council. It is imperative we continue collaborating together to revitalize the county seat.”

As the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Local Development District (LDD) and Economic Development District (EDD), SPC receives an allotment of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation that it can award to entities that have improvement projects, which qualify under three areas: Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program (CMAQ), Carbon Reduction program (CRP), and the Transportation Alternatives Set Aside (TASA) program.

“Our borough has a rich history, and we are excited for its vibrant future,” said Chris Schiano, Kittanning Borough Council vice president, Ward 2 councilman.

“We are in the midst revitalizing our downtown corridor, and this grant will support the borough’s efforts to enact changes that will positively impact our business community and residents.”

The CMAQ and CRP programs accept applications from counties and municipalities that have projects which will help to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

Eligible initiatives under these two programs can include pedestrian and bicycle facility projects, transit improvement programs, electric vehicles and charging stations, congestion reduction and traffic flow improvements and diesel engine retrofitting/replacements.

The TASA program accepts applications from counties and municipalities for projects that support transportation alternatives, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improving access to public transportation, enhanced mobility, recreational trails, safe routes to schools and environmental mitigation.

“As the county seat of Armstrong County, Kittanning is a lively borough with a strong small business community and nearby trails that many bicyclists and walkers use,” said Rich Fitzgerald, executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. “Allocating funding for the borough’s streetscape project is a tangible way for the SPC to support the community, and demonstrates that we’re focused on helping to improve the quality of life for the communities we serve.”

Initiatives like Kittanning Borough’s streetscape project reflects the vision of SPC’s Long Range Transportation Plan, which strives to ensure the region is connected and has multimodal mobility for all.

It also aligns with the organization’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategic Action Plan.

TDM focuses on the decisions that people and businesses make every day about travel, and involves providing travelers with information, options and incentives that expand travel choices.

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