Pennsylvania Awards $500K in Funding to Boost Community Planning in Eight Counties

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

PENNSYLVANIA — Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger this week announced new funding was awarded through the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) to support local governments in eight counties with planning for zoning and updating of comprehensive plans. The 11 projects will receive a total of $462,580 in MAP funding.

The bipartisan budget that Governor Shapiro signed last month invests $2 million in the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) which provides financial assistance for communities to comprehensively plan around community revitalization efforts, improvement processes, and sound management of development activities. In March, Governor Shapiro proposed a $1.5 million increase – nearly 266 percent – for funding available in the MAP to help local governments plan for and effectively implement a variety of services, improvements, and soundly managed development. As the Governor said in his budget address, “Rather than having the state come in and take over [local government] operations, how about we help these smaller communities band together, share resources, and share know-how. This budget invests in the Municipal Assistance Program to help our communities support themselves.” The enacted budget includes the Governor’s proposed increase.

“We have strengthened our abilities to support local governments thanks to the Governor’s commonsense budget,” said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. “The Municipal Assistance Program provides more support for municipalities and allows DCED to work with more communities across the Commonwealth while alleviating the burden on local governments to provide critical community services to taxpayers.”

The approved projects are as follows:

Allegheny County
  • $10,000 to the Borough of Churchill to update its zoning ordinance to take advantage of opportunities to redevelop vacant industrial properties.
  • $22,630 to O’Hara Township and Fox Chapel Borough to work together to create a joint plan that addresses climate change effects, sustainability, and storm water management, as well as traffic congestion, active transportation opportunities, zero-carbon energy sources and ways to enhance civic stewardship and engagement.
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Cambria County
  • $150,000 to the City of Johnstown to develop a comprehensive plan to keep moving in a positive financial direction following the City’s recent exit from the Act 47 program. The funding will cover the cost of hiring a company to work with the City to develop a plan that includes input from citizens, visitors, and business owners.
Lackawanna County
  • $42,000 to Northern Lackawanna Planning Association to enable Carbondale City, Jermyn and Mayfield Boroughs and Carbondale and Greenfield Townships to work with Lackawanna County’s Planning Economic Development Department to develop a regional comprehensive plan and a cooperative zoning update.
Lebanon County
  • $30,000 to Cornwall Borough and North Cornwall, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, and West Cornwall Townships to address balancing growth and traffic with the region’s prime agricultural land and green space, as well as opportunities for shared services. These communities comprise the fastest growing area of Lebanon County and second fastest growing county in Pennsylvania.
Montgomery County
  • $30,000 to Montgomery County to update its Comprehensive Plan to engage communities that have historically been left out of the planning process and develop a policy plan to support the comprehensive plan update.
Schuylkill County
  • $20,000 to Mahanoy City Borough and Delano, Mahanoy, and Ryan Townships to work together to develop a multi-municipal comprehensive plan and zoning update.
Somerset County
  • $17,500 to Jennerstown Borough to develop a comprehensive plan and supporting zoning tools to help transform into a destination community within the Laurel Highlands.
York County
  • $48,500 to Conewago and Manchester Townships and North York Borough to join together and engage in a multi-municipal planning process to update decades’ old comprehensive plans.
  • $45,000 to Hallam and Wrightsville Boroughs and Hellam Township to develop a plan to create a long-term collective investment strategy in eastern York County.
  • $46,950 to Spring Garden and York Townships to develop a plan to shape a future land use plan that addresses housing, economics, and open spaces.
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The Municipal Assistance Program provides technical resources and assistance for municipalities, consolidation, regional efforts as well as serving as a resource for local government officials, developers, and citizens interested in planning to improve, grow, and enhance communities.

For more information about MAP and DCED, visit the DCED website.

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