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LSA funding is generated annually through the county’s share of gaming revenues derived from Nemacolin’s Lady Luck Casino in Wharton Township.
Uniontown, PA - The Fayette County Board of Commissioners hosted a Local Share Account Award Ceremony for 2020-21 recipients Tuesday morning at the State Theatre in Uniontown.
Commissioners Dave Lohr, chairman; Vincent Vicites and Scott Dunn selected the LSA grant recipients last fall, but program delays at the state level due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic led to the delayed ceremony.
Following the commissioners’ selections, the projects are recommended through an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for final approval. DCED then administers the funding for those projects which receive state approval through 2021.
Fayette County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Andrew French served as master of ceremonies for the festivities, which were the first in the program’s history.
“I think the LSA Program is critical to Fayette County because it represents another somewhat flexible resource to help our communities implement these impactful projects,” French said. “Clearly there is a need for funding, because we’ve received millions of dollars of requests each year. Since it began in 2015, LSA has filled gaps that were created by the reduction of other funding sources.”
French said that although the LSA Program has its own rules and regulations for applicants to abide by, it’s “much more flexible” than other sources, allowing the county to fund a “wide variety of projects across many categories.”
“Oftentimes, these projects are being implemented at the grassroots level, so it’s the local nonprofits or community groups or councils applying for funds and taking the initiative to get this funding for their communities,” French said. “It’s good to recognize all their efforts and everything they do to engage their communities and make these projects succeed, since so many of our LSA projects leverage other dollars.”
While the honorees previously received their funding throughout the few months leading up to the ceremony, the event served as an additional way for the county to recognize the grantees who continued to do exemplary work in their communities throughout the pandemic.
The projects honored Tuesday included:
French said many of the LSA grants were leveraged by more than $1 million from other funding sources secured by the project applicants, creating a total impact of nearly $2 million across Fayette County.
LSA funding is generated annually through the county’s share of gaming revenues derived from Nemacolin’s Lady Luck Casino in Wharton Township. Fayette County municipalities, redevelopment authorities, nonprofits and other community organizations are eligible to apply, and groups are encouraged to apply for multiple years.
“I always encourage everyone to apply each year because that identifies the funding needs in our communities. We often find that if we aren’t able to fund a project through LSA, we can pretty successfully find other avenues for it, such as our hotel tax or tourism grants,” French said. “When we look at the applications, we try to identify which funding opportunity could assist that project. Applying gets these projects in the pipeline and on our radar, so we can find them funding through one of our sources.”
Commissioner Dunn said the LSA Program is an important part of Fayette County, because our municipalities, nonprofits and authorities use it for “projects of community importance,” such as “parks, playgrounds, new water lines” and more.
“This reinvestment into our community helps make Fayette County more attractive as a place to live and work. Many of our communities do not have the resources to fund projects that enhance their livability,” Dunn said. “The cities, boroughs and townships often provide their mandated services, their needs, through taxation. LSA is needed to fund the wants and wishlists; the extra things that truly can transform a community.”
Commissioner Vicites said LSA’s importance cannot be understated, because it leverages funds for impactful local projects and makes them a reality.
“The LSA Program has had a tremendous impact on all geographic regions of Fayette County,” Vicites said. “From infrastructure upgrades to marketing projects, community beautification to facilities improvements, these initiatives have made Fayette County a better place to live, work and visit.”
Commissioner Lohr said the LSA grant program is “another tool in the toolbox” of resources available to foster growth in Fayette County.
“I look at Fayette County and I see so much potential. I’m laser-focused on bringing jobs and development to Fayette County, but for maximum impact, we need to make sure we’re tapping into every resource that we have at our disposal. There are so many resources out there to help make that happen,” Lohr said. “There are so many ways that LSA monies can be used, running the gamut from economic development - including business development, job training and equipment purchases - to infrastructure improvements - like water and sanitary sewer. Ultimately, monies from LSA get funneled back into the community, and that’s a win for everyone. For example, when LSA monies are used to purchase equipment, new jobs are created and the community benefits. Building infrastructure means opening an area up for development.”
Recipients accepted their awards from and took photos with the commissioners Tuesday. The Fayette Chamber of Commerce provided planning assistance and photography for the event.
The 2021-22 LSA grant application period closed Aug. 6. A ceremony honoring this year’s recipients will be held in the spring.
For more information, contact the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority at 724-437-1547 or visit www.racfpa.org.
To learn more about Fayette County, visit www.FayetteCountyPA.org.
Editor's Note: Photo attached (2020-21 LSA Grant Award Ceremony)
This communication is part of the Fayette County PR Initiative, which is funded through the Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) and Hotel Tax Grants in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
For more information, contact Kristi Rooker Kassimer, Public Relations Specialist, at 412-691-0262, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kaylie Moore, Community Relations Coordinator, at 724-430-1200 Ext. 1611, email@example.com.