English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At least one tenant for Easton’s proposed intermodal center is signed for what passes for perpetuity these days — 99 years.
City Council approved a master lease Wednesday night for the yet-to-be-built intermodal, inking the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority to a long-term deal in return for an upfront payment of $7.2 million. The lease with LANTA is through the city’s parking authority, which in turn will operate the 370-space parking deck and bus terminal portion of the project.
LANTA’s cash payment, derived from a federal transportation grant, is a major source of funding for the $26 million intermodal. Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. hopes to couple the LANTA money with grants obtained by the city to cut the amount the city must borrow to no more than $13 million.
Site work for the project started last year after the city demolished a Perkins restaurant and a movie theater on S. Third St. Construction could begin this summer.
A new federal program to spur economic growth in urban areas called Strong Cities, Strong Communities is coming to Chester. Only six cities in the U.S. were selected for the program. In addition to Chester, the list includes Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis and Fresco round out the list. Chester is by far the smallest city on the list but certainly would be at the top of the list based on need.
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I think this is a great example of urban renewal, blight eradication, working together, finding available money and utilizing elected officials to facilitate change.
The City of Wilkes-Barre has worked with Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Paul Kanjorski to obtain $950,000 in federal funding that will be put toward the $13.7 million dollar renovation of Coal Street Park into the future home of the Wilkes-Barre Penguins Hockey Team. This ice skating rink has been an abandoned and blighted property in the city of Wilkes-Barre for the last seven years. No city general fund revenue has been allocated toward this endeavor but instead the project is being funded by state and federal grants.
Coal Street Park is in a high traffic area and a gateway to downtown Wilkes-Barre. The property spans 31 acres and will receive an extensive renovation. Moving the Penguins into the city will bring 20 full-time and 40 part-time jobs, bring more consumers/money into downtown Wilkes-Barre and add to the quality of life for city residents. Currently the W/B Penguins are located in suburban Plains Township.
There is money out there. This is why a cohesive and unified vision is needed for Pottstown.