Governor Wolf Outlines Restore Pennsylvania Infrastructure Plan to Fix Homes and Businesses in Pitcairn
March 06, 2019
Pitcairn, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today toured damage from flooding in downtown Pitcairn and saw the extensive blight affecting this borough in western Pennsylvania. After the tour, the governor outlined the components of the most aggressive infrastructure plan in generations, Restore Pennsylvania. The governor’s plan will help communities such as Pitcairn mitigate the effects of localized flooding, address blight, and expand broadband access and green infrastructure to restore communities after long neglect.
“The effects of severe rain and unprecedented weather and the ongoing issues with blight we saw today in Pitcairn are not unique,” Gov. Wolf said. “These situations exist across the commonwealth and are creating lasting, negative effects on communities, businesses, and residents. We need an unprecedented plan to make sure Pennsylvania is a leader in the 21st century.”
Gov. Wolf outlined how his Restore Pennsylvania plan, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax, will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.
Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas, including high speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, downstream manufacturing, business development, and energy infrastructure, demolition, revitalization, and renewal, and transportation capital projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about community needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.
Gov. Wolf was joined by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Senator Jim Brewster and Representative Brandon Markosek on a tour of Pitcairn.
“I support Governor Wolf’s initiative to deal with infrastructure issues through the implementation of a severance tax,” Sen. Brewster said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to have Governor Wolf visit the 25th District, particularly here in Pitcairn. It is important that the governor see first-hand the issues facing our community,” said Rep. Markosek.
While in Pitcairn, the governor and elected officials saw the lasting effects stream flooding and a mudslide have had on this community in Allegheny County. As well, blight is evident with more than 500 rental structures, many in need of remediation or demolition. Other renovations needed in the borough are cost-prohibitive.
“I’ve been traveling across the state to see what’s needed and to ask Pennsylvanians to reach out to their legislators to tell them to support Restore Pennsylvania and vote for the funding we need now to support our communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “The time is now for Pitcairn and many other communities across Pennsylvania.”
Demolition, Revitalization, and Renewal
Blight Demolition and Redevelopment
Restore Pennsylvania will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings in order to create new development opportunities or provide new green space. The funding will be administered by entities established by the legislature as land banks or demolition funds.
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to ensure the continuation of Pennsylvania’s Brownfields program, ensuring that more sites can be returned to use for recreation, or returned to the tax rolls as commercial, residential, or industrial sites.
Restore Pennsylvania will fund expanded efforts to remove lead and other contaminants from communities.
Restore Pennsylvania will provide significant new funding to enable new environmental projects and new recreational opportunities across the state, including infrastructure and maintenance in state parks, creation and revitalization of new local parks, and funding for new hiking, biking, and ATV trail projects.
View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan here.