Requests for Local Share money top $22 million
Jim Cowden and Jodie McKay, both of McDonald, prepare to go fishing in Jim’s boat at Canonsburg Lake earlier this year.
Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
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Most of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino patrons aspire to have an occasional good day or night. Washington County has been a winner six consecutive years.
About $55 million in gambling revenues from the facility were awarded to development projects countywide during the first six years (2007-2012) of the Local Share Account program. Funds generated annually at the North Strabane Township venues are deposited in the LSA account early the following year and disbursed months later to entities whose funding requests are approved.
The program “has been very favorable in terms of economic development, community development and doing water and sewer projects. And it’s been very favorable for leveraging other monies that help get a project done,” said Bill McGowen, executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of Washington County, which administers the LSA program.
Now the 2014 cycle is imminent.
Seventy-one requests totaling more than $22 million have been submitted to the redevelopment authority for consideration in January. The revenue from 2013 Meadows operations, however, will not be known for perhaps another month, McGowen said.
Each of the 71 requesting bodies will have an opportunity to state its case for funding, with a presentation to the local share review committee lasting no more than five minutes. These public briefings will be scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 and from 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 22 in Rooms 103/104 of Courthouse Square, downtown Washington.
The review committee will recommend projects it deems valid to the county commissioners, who will send the ones they approve to the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Money will be disbursed in June or July.
Last January, the local share review committee approved 38 of 73 projects for $7.3 in funding, which the commissioners swiftly forwarded to the state.
The 71 requests this year are in line with previous numbers. Each is listed under four categories: Economic Development, Community Improvement, Public Interest (with subcategories of Sanitary, Water, General) and Job Training.
Five of the 71, however, are for $1 million-plus and total $7,242,630. That’s 33 percent of the total LSA request of $22,221,577.
And the sixth-highest request isn’t much below that demarcation. The Canonsburg Lake Restoration & Improvement Committee is seeking $800,000 for the lake’s Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, affecting Peters and North Strabane townships.
Topping this list is $2 million for the Speers/Dunlevy Wet Weather Control Project, submitted by the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi. It is not affiliated with Charleroi government, but provides water service for several local communities.
Second is a $1,592,630 request by Cecil Township for Klinger Park, where work on a recreation complex, including three soccer fields, is under way. The site is a corner kick from Southpointe and an apartment complex under construction called the Reserve at Southpointe.
The Mon Valley Sewage Authority is seeking $1.5 million for the Donora Sewer Separation project.
Racetrack Road Management LLC has made an intriguing request for $1,150,000 for Racetrack Road development in South Strabane Township, basically across from the Adios statue in North Strabane. McGowen said he didn’t know any details, including the acreage involved, other than “they’re hoping to develop it for commercial use.”
Steve Thomas of Chapman Properties, the landowner from Leetsdale, could not be reached for comment Friday.
TRIPIL, of Washington, is seeking $1 million for Southwestern Pa. Disability Services/Training Headquarters Development and YWCA rehabilitation.
Each of the requesting entities also has pledged to line up other funding sources for the projects.