Governor Wolf Touts How Restore Pennsylvania Can Help with Rural Infrastructure Needs
April 18, 2019
Towanda, PA – Today Governor Tom Wolf visited Towanda Area Junior-Senior High School to outline how Restore Pennsylvania will help school districts by expanding broadband access to all Pennsylvanians. Nearly a million Pennsylvanians, many in rural areas, lack access to robust, reliable, high-speed internet.
“Lack of quality internet access means our children miss out on learning opportunities, their parents lack easy access to important school information, businesses can’t market themselves and conduct business online, and health care facilities can’t share information,” Gov. Wolf said.
Restore Pennsylvania will also help with mitigating flooding that affects many parts of the commonwealth, including Bradford County.
“Bradford County suffered severe flooding last August and I toured the area, frustrated that all I could say was that I was sorry this happened and that the damage amassed didn’t meet the threshold for federal assistance. Restore PA can change that narrative from ‘sorry we can’t help’ to ‘here is how we can help.’”
Gov. Wolf first announced a bold infrastructure initiative, Restore Pennsylvania, in January. Funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania 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 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 local 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.
“The Towanda Area School District is thrilled that Governor Wolf recognizes the need to expand high speed internet service in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania,”, said Dennis Peachey, Acting Superintendent of the Towanda Area School District. “Our students and community deserve the same access to reliable broadband internet service as their counterparts across the state. Our district has invested in providing our students with the technology they need to be successful in today’s world. It is our hope that as technology continues to permeate the classroom, that students will have the same access in their homes and throughout our region.”
Later today the governor will visit George G. Blaisdell Elementary School in Bradford, McKean County, to learn about broadband issues there that affect students and parents in this mostly rural district.
View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan.