HARRISBURG – Two community organizations in the 63rd District will benefit from more than a half million dollars in Neighborhood Assistance Projects (NAP), Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) announced today.
The funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development is designed to support nonprofit organizations, businesses and residential projects in distressed or lower income neighborhoods, especially those that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It encourages private sector investment into projects that will help improve distressed communities by providing tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community challenges. NAP can be used for projects in categories including affordable housing, community services, crime prevention, education, job training, charitable food, blight, special population issues, veterans initiatives and long-term community revitalization.
“This grant program was designed to allow private entities to partner together for larger community projects,” Oberlander said. “We have a wealth of recreational, educational and cultural opportunities within our region that will benefit from this program and allow residents of all ages to take advantage. I am happy to see these organization receive funding for this highly competitive program.”
Receiving funding locally are Clarion County Adventures and the Redbank Valley Historical Society.
The Clarion County Adventures’ grant of $442,500 will be put toward the Clarion Multi-Generational Community Park. Partners in this initiative include Farmers National Bank of Emlenton, S&T Bank, Brookville Services, Northwest Bank, Kriebel Resources, Kriebel Resources Co., Kriebel Production Co., Seubert and Associates, The Commodore Corp., Tom’s Riverside, Clarion County Adventures 2021 and Terra Works.
The park will provide recreational space to offer new, previously inaccessible access to recreational amenities to the young and old, as well as the county’s population of low-income and disabled residents.
The historical society’s project, termed the New Bethlehem Health and Heritage Initiative, seeks to promote social and intergenerational interaction while providing safe community space for use of residents and groups. Additionally, it will help to preserve the rich heritage of New Bethlehem and the Redbank Valley through genealogical research, experiential learning and historic rehabilitation.
Much of the grant will help with upgrades to the former First National Bank Building, which was donated to the Redbank Valley Historical Society (RVHS) and serves as the hub of its operations. The building will be used for monthly educational meetings, educational exhibits, genealogical research, performing arts events, educational performances, and publicly accessible and open meeting space. Partners include the Charles P. Leach Agency, First United National Bank, Tom’s Riverside Quality Foods, Robindale, Clarion County Community Bank and Laura Moore Counseling Services.
Specifically, a special emphasis was placed upon, and priority was given, to projects that sought to address critical issues related to the pandemic, its aftermath and recovery, among other factors.
Also benefiting Clarion and Forest County residents will be more than $534,000 in grant funding for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which serves 11 counties.
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton