Governor Tom Wolf’s vision for Pennsylvania includes vibrant towns and cities with new development.
We spoke to the Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Dennis Davin, to learn about the initiative ‘Restore Pennsylvania’. This initiative is all about progression and rebuilding neighborhoods across the state. It’s about creating opportunities in rural and disadvantaged areas, and a modern commonwealth.
Restore Pennsylvania is a massive rebuilding plan funded by a severance tax that will take our state to the next level.
The initiative will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in high-impact projects.
Borough Manager Patrick Gehrlein says it will be used for “attraction and retention of our local economy, our manufacturing base, so what has happened over the course of the last 100 years is the loss of many jobs in our community. ”
The Round Table Discussion took place with Erie County municipalities. It was a way to bring forth ideas, concerns, challenges, and questions.
The proposal was created to address a need, in this case, blight across Pennsylvania.
Davin says, “blight, more than anything, is the biggest issue that we find. The problem is the federal funds just aren’t there anymore.”
Funds will go to things like high-speed internet access to every corner of the Commonwealth (since there are still some areas where there will be no cell reception or internet).
Amy Murdock, Director of Erie County Planning and Community Development, says, “I think it’s incredibly important when policy is being shaped at the state level to really have an informative dialogue at a local level.”
The initiative will make sure Pennsylvania is a leader in the 21st Century.
Funds from this program will also go to storm preparedness, business development, and more.