Harrisburg – October 24, 2016 – Grants for three recreation projects totaling in excess of $200,000 were approved today the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for initiatives in Cambria and Bedford Counties, state Sen. John N, Wozniak (D-Cambria/Clearfield/Bedford) said today.
“The Laurel Highlands and southcentral Pennsylvania are blessed with exceptional natural resources,” Wozniak said. “A key aspect of our economic future relies on our ability to expand recreational opportunities and improve access.
“Recreation is an industry that can help economically transform our region, while improving the quality of life for those who live here.”
Wozniak said the CFA approved $80,000 for the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority to hire a transportation planning firm to do a feasibility study of bike and pedestrian trails that traverses the City of Johnstown. The urban connectivity study, he said, will examine options involved in the development of a network of bike trails, lanes and pedestrian walking paths.
Also in Cambria County, a $100,000 grant for Hastings Municipal Authority from the CFA will make repairs to the community pool. The funds will be used to construct a new pump house with energy efficient equipment. Wozniak said that the project includes a new pavilion and Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to the facility.
The Westmont lawmaker said that the CFA approved a $30,000 grant for Bedford County to change its master plan to include the proposed Pike 2 Bike Trail. The proposed 8.5 mile trail utilizes a portion of abandoned highway that previously was part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The proposed trail includes two tunnels at Rays Hill and Sideling Hill with the plan to open the route to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riding and large group activities.
Wozniak said that he is excited about the potential economic development aspects of the projects. He said the urban bike and pedestrian trail will be an attraction that bolsters the quality of life in the city. The new trail in Bedford County, that uses a portion of the old turnpike, has the potential to attract visitors that will patronize local businesses.
“We have an ability to use recreation to build our region as a destination point for visitors from across the country,” Wozniak said.
The CFA was created to administer the state’s economic development programs. These three grants were approved under the CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.