Chester County Projects Receive Nearly $24 Million in Funding
$20M in state funding awarded for Chester County projects
By Natalie Kostelni – Philadelphia Business Journal
Two Chester County projects that have been in the planning phases for years received state funding that will likely help move them forward.
The developer of the former Pennhurst State School and Hospital property was awarded $10 million that will go toward $13.2 million needed to install infrastructure in the property, like roads, and will also will pay for environmental remediation and engineering work. The former state mental hospital is located off Route 724 near Route 422 in East Vincent, Pa., and has 23 buildings totaling more than 600,000 square feet on it.
“This is going to change the narrative of the former state hospital,” said MaryFrances McGarrity of the Chester County Economic Development Council, which will oversee the distribution of the funds for the two projects. The money consists of a $4 million grant and a $6 million loan.
The hospital was closed in 1986 and a portion of the facility was opened as the Pennhurst Haunted Asylum in 2010. Plans are still being formulated for the redevelopment of the site though it will be a phased project that will involve a combination of commercial, industrial and distribution space. At this time, the site has some access issues and those are expected to get worked out during the approval process.
A partnership that has plans to redevelop the former Foote Mineral site in East Whiteland, Pa., also received $10 million. Foot Mineral Co. manufactured chemicals at the 79-acre property off Route 100 between 1941 and 1991. It is now designated as a Super Fund site and has been cleaned up.
Rosskamp Management Co. owns the property and had planned to develop senior housing and a solar farm on the property. Daniel Sevick of Rosskamp couldn’t be reached for comment. The funds from the state will go toward grading and excavation work, demolition and the installation of in-ground utilities, foundations and paving. Combined it will cost $16.7 million.
The two projects received the funds from the state’s Business in Our Sites program, which is supported by the Commonwealth Financing Authority and seeks to prepare sites to make them shovel-ready. In order to qualify, the property must have been previously been used or undeveloped and has planned or zoned for development.
Six conservation and recreation projects get $3.5 million in funding
By Staff Reporter – Daily Local News
West Chester >> State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, announced that six conservation and recreations projects in his Chester County district will receive nearly $3.5 million in total state grant funding through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (CCPP).
“Chester County is known far and wide for our dedication to preserving our open spaces and beautiful places – it is one of the very reasons that gives our region such a distinct sense of place and makes it such a great place to call home,” said Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “These grant funds will help us continue to build on our success in protecting our land, water, and environmental treasures, while also increasing recreational opportunities for residents and families throughout the area.”
The grants, which are administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), are as follows:
• $500,000 for Chester County for the development of the Chester Valley Trail in West Whiteland Township. The funds will be used to construct about a mile of trail from Main Street to the Oaklands Corporate Center, including a bridge, landscaping, signage, ADA access and related improvements.
• $1,000,000 for Natural Lands Trust for payment toward the acquisition of approximately 442 acres along Saint Matthews Road in West Vincent and West Pikeland Townships for the creation of the Bryn Coed Preserve.
• $200,000 for New Garden Township for the further development of New Garden Park, including the construction of parking areas and an access drive, pedestrian walkways, basketball courts, a pavilion, landscaping and signage, ADA access, and related improvements, as well as the installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing.
• $1,000,000 for the Conservation Fund for payment toward the acquisition of approximately 982.6 acres along Springlawn Road in Elk, Franklin and New London Townships for an addition to the White Clay Creek Preserve and open space protection.
• $199,000 for the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County for payment toward the acquisition of approximately 23 acres in London Britain Township to protect floodplain and riparian buffer habitat and provide recreation through a pledged trail connection to the White Clay Creek.
• $600,000 for the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County for payment toward the acquisition of approximately 182 acres located in Elk Township for the creation of a new nature preserve for environmental education and passive recreation.
These grant projects come as part of 11 total projects throughout Chester County that were awarded more than $5 million in total CCPP funding.
Other projects that received funding in the county were as follows:
• $376,200 for the development of the Schuylkill River Trail in East Coventry Township. The funds will be used to construct a trailhead, restrooms, ADA access, landscaping, signage and related improvements.
• $500,000 for East Goshen Township for the rehabilitation and further development of the Milltown Dam Park. The funds will be used to construct a pond, fishing pier, bridges and boardwalk, pedestrian walkways, parking areas and an access road, ADA access, landscaping, signage, and related improvements, as well as the restoration of riparian buffers.
• $30,000 for Honey Brook Township to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park, Open Space and Greenways Plan.
• $594,500 for Natural Lands Trust for payment toward the acquisition of approximately 57 acres along Chalfont Road in Wallace Township for an addition to Marsh Creek State Park and passive recreation.
• $66,000 for Westtown Township for the rehabilitation and further development of Tyson Park. The funds will be used to construct a parking area, pedestrian walkway and comfort station, ADA access, landscaping, signage and related improvements, as well as the installation of riparian buffers.
The Community Conservation Partnerships Program provides financial and technical assistance to local governments, river and trail organizations, land trusts, and other nonprofits for the planning, acquisition and development of park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects.
Funding for all of the grant projects in Chester County, except the East Goshen project, is provided through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key 93). The East Goshen project is funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.