Bethlehem, May 5, 2011 – – State Sen. Lisa Boscola today announced state grants totaling over $5.67 million for three local projects.

The funding for the projects were awarded though the H2O PA program and the contiguous “local share” casino grant program by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

“I am pleased that we have found the means to fund these projects without tapping local taxpayers,” Boscola said. “I will continue to seek state funds that support regional infrastructure improvement efforts.”

The two approved H2O projects include:

  • $4 million for the Borough of Portland, Northampton County, to assist with debt service on a new wastewater collection, conveyance and treatment system.  Portland Borough residents have been saddled with the highest sewage rates in the state, with monthly sewage bills ranging over $100.
  • $1.626 million was awarded to the Bethlehem Authority for costs associated with the 12-million-gallon supply water reservoir cover and liner replacement projects in Fountain Hill Borough, Lehigh County.

The H2O PA program allocates single-year or multi-year grants to municipalities or municipal authorities to assist with the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects.   The CFA funded over $172 million in water and sewage projects at today’s meeting.

In addition,  Freemansburg Borough in Northampton County was awarded $52,000 through Mt. Airy’s contiguous local share assessment grant program for fencing, a retaining wall, a snack stand and trail connection as part of its overall recreational facilities improvement.  The local share funds, generated by the state’s gaming facilities, are distributed as part of the “local share assessment” account established by the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

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