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PA drops Bucks County nearly $11M in March grants


Pennsylvania made it rain in March, granting Bucks County, its towns and a few institutions more than $10.9 million in funding for various projects.

The money came from two Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development programs — the Local Share Account (LSA) Statewide Program and the Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF).

The LSA money comes from the distribution of gaming revenues to support “projects in the public interest.”

The MTF money is meant to improve public transportation assets that enhance communities, pedestrian safety, and transit revitalization.

The largest local LSA grants — $1 million each — went to the demolition of Bucks County’s former nursing home, Neshaminy Manor; roof and HVAC repairs at Bucks County Technical High School; redevelopment near the intersection of Chestnut and Elm streets in Bristol Borough; and the revitalization of the Bensalem First Responders Field, located at the site of the old Trifecta Sporting Club/German Hungarian Club on Bristol Road.

In a press release, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero reflected on the importance of the work at the old Neshaminy Manor site. The nursing home closed in 1999.

“The economic potential for this property has been stalled for more than 20 years now,” he said. “Finally, because of these funds, the county will be able to move forward and welcome new growth on this valuable property.”

The Bucks County Planning Commission is looking for plans to redevelop the 19-acre site that sits along Almshouse and Easton roads. Evan Stone, executive director of the commission, said earlier, “We’d like to transcend a traditional, normal development; we already have plenty of retail and commercial.”

Lower Makefield also secured $900,000 for Memorial Park on Woodside Road to fund a gazebo, picnic pavilion, Bocce courts, horseshoe pit, playgrounds, plus the resurfacing and striping of some parking areas.

The two largest local MTF awards were a $486,500 for intersection improvements at Easton and Bristol roads in Warrington and $464,758 for the Solebury Gateway Trail.

Mark Baum Baicker, who chairs the Solebury Board of Supervisors, was thrilled to get funding for the trail along the Route 202 bypass between Kitchens Lane and Sugan Road.

“It is a high-priority project that really did have an uncertain future until we were notified of this grant,” he said.

The new 1.6-mile section would hook up with the existing trail that runs along the Route 202 bypass, Lower York Road, with access to Canal Park on River Road, which connects to the canal towpath.

The township had some funds for the project, “but didn’t know if we would have enough. But this will get it done. This puts us over the top,” he said.

More good news came in the form of a $193,959 state grant for design work to improve pedestrian and motorist safety on Route 202 and Lower Mountain Road at Aquetong Spring Park.

“Again, extremely important funding that will help us in the process of addressing safety at this most popular township park,” Baum Baicker said.

PA DCED Local Share Account Statewide Program

Project Recipient Amount
Summerseat window replacement Bucks County $35,826
Multipurpose vehicle purchase Morrisville $128,930
Sanitary sewer rehabilitation Falls Twp Authority $202,406
Replace two aging water filter vessels Plumstead $345,000
Improvements: Memorial Park Lower Makefield $900,000
Sidewalk and trail study Newtown Borough $30,000
Business Commons improvements Newtown Township $534,221
Open space project Yardley $62,830
Neshaminy Manor Improvements Bucks County $1,000,000
Pedestrian, motorist safety: Route 202 Bypass/Lower York Road trail Solebury  $193,959
Redevelopment: Chestnut and Elm streets Bristol Borough $1,000,000
BCTHS HVAC, roof upgrades Bucks County Technical HS $1,000,000
Vehicle purchases YMCA Bucks & Hunterdon County $83,796
Rehabilitation: First Responders Field Bensalem  $1,000,000
Demolition at brownfield site Warminster $600,000
Park improvements: Forsythia Crossing Middletown Township $500,000
Pedestrian safety: Route 332 Northampton Township $500,000
Stormwater improvements Upper Southampton $401,485
Stream restoration: Lower Tohickon Bedminster $240,000
Bridge replacement: Lenape Park Perkasie Borough $99,210

Multimodal Transportation Fund

Project Recipient Amount
Solebury Gateway Trail Solebury  $464,758
Pedestrian, cyclist improvements: Frost Lane Newtown Borough $192,594
Pedestrian safety: Mill and Radcliffe streets Bristol Borough $406,021
Intersection work: Easton and Bristol roads Warrington  $486,500
Road improvements for Wawa Warrington  $255,000
Traffic calming: Barringer Avenue Silverdale  $267,826

Data from State Senators Steve Santarsiero, Frank Farry and Jarret Coleman.

Birgitta Wolfe and Freda R. Savana contributed to this report.

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