Mayor: Build Back Better grant ‘tremendous opportunity’

The City of Warren is pursuing a grant from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to cover the “soft costs” — engineering, design, permits — for a proposed downtown boat launch.

City Engineer Chad Yurisic said the city applied for funding for engineering, design and construction last year and that part of the denial was in asking for $1 million, the entire budget Commission had for grants across the state.

He said Fish & Boat officials encouraged the city to submit that grant. The city’s second attempt, he explained, will be for those soft costs estimated at $285,000.

He said that award “would advance the project to a shovel-ready stage” and better position the city for further grant opportunities for the project.

The total plan is estimated at $6 million — $2.2 million for the boat launch, street redesign and parking lot improvements to two city-owned parcels across from the HIY, Inc. building; $180,000 for a pump track; $541,000 for a trail behind the HIY, Inc. building; $901,000 in parking lot improvements to additional city-owned parcels further down Clark St.; $1.6 million to rebuild Clark St. and Langdon Dr. and $421,000 to demolish the concrete pad on the other side of Liberty St. and finish it as additional parking.

Riverfront development is the city’s piece in a regional Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant coordinated by the PA Wilds. That application was one of 60 nation-wide to move to a second application phase.

“As I leave the mayorship, we got in the 16 years I’ve served on council… what is coming up in the next year and year after is the most I have ever seen going on,” Mayor Maurice Cashman said.

He then discussed the regional grant.

“If we got probably what we’re going to try to get to — $7 million — (we are) going to be able to finish everything off down there,” Cashman said, and “have a wonderful space for a number of things.

“This is money, a once in a lifetime development grant that the federal government has made available,” calling the possibility a “tremendous opportunity. There’s a big golden ring out there…. Let’s make every effort. It’s going to be exciting if we win it.”


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