Mar. 16, 2023

HARRISBURG – Rep. R. Lee James (Venango/Crawford) and Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R- Butler/Clarion/Erie/Forest/Venango/Warren) announced today the awarding of more than $1.5 million in state funding to nine projects from the Local Shared Account (LSA) Program for community improvements in Venango County.

“I am pleased to see these significant investments made into our communities,” said James. “I am grateful this program exists so we can continue to grow the district I am very honored to represent.”

“It is great to hear that these very worthwhile local projects will receive a boost from state funding,” said Hutchinson.  “Each of these projects will enhance the quality of life for Venango County residents and help spur positive growth in our community.”  

Below are the projects and allocations in Venango County:
Emlenton Borough - $400,000 for park improvements at Hughes Park. The project will demolish and reconstruct an existing tennis court and construct two pickleball courts.  ADA parking and walkways will be added from Campbell Avenue to Grove Street with a connection crossing Prospect Street to the pool house for restroom and splash park use and connection to the baseball and basketball area. The existing tennis court is crumbling and cracked due to soil erosion. Therefore, drainage issues would be addressed.
Franklin City - $200,000 to go toward renovation of the city’s Public Hall Building. This includes a complete heating and ventilation overhaul; replacement of deteriorated exterior steps leading to the city’s police department; and upgrades to maintain ADA compliance.  
Oil City - $200,000 to complete exterior and interior renovations to the historic Lyric Theater. This includes renovations to the restrooms, tech booth area, auditorium, stage and dressing rooms, utility infrastructure, and exterior improvements to the facade and marquee.  Additionally, equipment purchases will include lighting, sound equipment and stage curtains.
Oil City - $200,000 to renovate the Oil City National Bank Building. The project will target first floor renovations to include site preparation as well as the removal of chipped and damaged plaster; renovation of the marble knee walls; adding a new code-compliant railing to the mezzanine; and the existing bank vault door will be cleaned and rehabilitated. Total fire suppression and plumbing upgrades will be completed, and new bathrooms will be constructed, new interior doors installed with new flooring, drywall and finishes will be installed throughout the space.
Frenchcreek Township - $157,947 to purchase a tri-axle dump truck.
Victory Township - $151,972 to purchase a new 417 JCB loader, which would assist in the maintenance and snow removal of the 15.35 miles of township road.
Oil City - $86,850 to purchase a Ford F-550 Cab Chassis outfitted with an Uplift Dump Body package to create a multi-use one-ton dump truck with the capability of operating a salt spreader and snowplow. In addition, this essential public works vehicle will be used for the maintenance of water lines, sewer lines, and city-owned streets and have the capability to provide towing for key pieces of work equipment including lawn mowers, an excavator and pavement roller.
Polk Borough – $67,425 to conduct a sanitary sewer evaluation study. The objective is to identify specific sources of inflow or infiltration and determine options for remediation. The project consists of the installation of 6 flow meters, smoke testing, internal televising and a summary report of the results. Additionally, an evaluation of the existing pump station will be completed with recommendations on alternatives and estimated costs.
Venango County - $56,476 to purchase equipment to maintain Two Mile Run County Park located in Oakland Township. The park offers 38 miles of multi-use trails including hiking, biking, and equestrian trails and maintaining the trails is essential to provide a safe experience for visitors. The project will include purchase of a cyclone debris blower, tractor with mower and blade attachments, and a gator to properly maintain the trails, reduce the amount of trail erosion and sediment that travels downstream, and provide clear pathways for visitors.

The grants were approved and awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which was established as an independent agency that holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania’s economic growth. LSA grants are derived from gaming revenues. 

Representative R. Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nate Temple