This year's awardees received a combined total of more than $700,000.
Uniontown, PA - The Fayette County Board of Commissioners hosted a Local Share Account Award Ceremony for 2021-22 recipients Tuesday morning at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown.
Commissioners Dave Lohr, chairman; Vincent Vicites and Scott Dunn selected the LSA grant recipients in November, and those projects were submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for final approval. DCED will administer the funding for those projects that receive approval through 2022.
Fayette County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Andrew French served as master of ceremonies for the festivities.
“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.”
Tuesday’s event served as an additional way for the county to recognize the grantees who continued to do exemplary work in their communities.
The projects honored Tuesday included:
• Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative - Fayette County Redevelopment Authority.
• German Township Police Radio System Upgrade - German Township: $10,000.
• Redstone Township Police Department Life Saving Equipment - Redstone Township: $17,000.
• Crime Stoppers Community Awareness Project - Fayette County Crime Stoppers: $10,000.
• Dunbar Borough Community Electronic Billboard - Dunbar Borough: $12,200.
• Stewart Township Equipment Building Expansion - Steward Township: $30,000.
• Royal Youth Recreation Improvements - Royal Youth Recreation Center: $20,000.
• Connellsville Area Veterans Memorial Honor Roll - Connellsville Area Veterans Memorial Honor Roll Committee: $20,000.
• Phillips Park Playground Upgrade - North Union Township: $30,000.
• Connellsville Township Municipal Garage Update Phase II - Connellsville Township: $27,390.
• Jefferson Township Municipal Park Improvements - Jefferson Township: $35,000.
• Bailey Park Recreation Improvements - City of Uniontown: $25,000.
• Fairchance Community Park Improvements - Fairchance Borough: $15,000.
• Fenwick Park Improvements - Brownsville Borough: $10,000.
• South Union Township Sheepskin Trail Improvements - South Union Township: $17,000.
• Country Club Lane Connector Waterline Extension - Pleasant Valley Water Authority: $40,000.
• Fairchance Borough Fire Hydrant Replacement - North Fayette County Municipal Authority: $50,000.
• Harris Road Waterline Extension - Indian Creek Valley Water Authority: $52,000.
• Uniontown Strategic Planning - Uniontown Redevelopment Authority: $30,000.
• Court Appointed Special Advocates Operational Support - CASA of Fayette County: $40,000.
• Charity Outreach Food Pantry - St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church: $10,000.
French said many of the LSA grants were leveraged by more than $700,000 from other funding sources secured by the project applicants, creating a total impact of more than $1.5 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 Lohr said programs such as the Local Share Account are “essential to progress in Fayette County, because most entities don’t have a pile of cash in the bank, just waiting for a project to come along.”
“I’ve been working diligently to develop Fayette County, and there are so many projects out there that are consistent with supporting development initiatives,” Lohr said. “For more entities, funding is almost always an impediment to getting anything done, so I’m pleased that we have LSA monies to offer, and I’m excited by the progress the projects we’re able to fund, whether in part or in full, represent.”
Lohr said projects funded for 2021-22 are “representative of the underlying need for maintenance, upgrades and development to grow Fayette County.”
“So much good is to be done with LSA money - good and necessary projects that might never get completed without this particular funding mechanism,” he said. “This money is going to do a lot of good in our communities. Kudos to all who applied, and congratulations to this year’s recipients.”
Commissioner Vicites said the LSA Program is a “wonderful way” for the Board of Commissioners to help “as many Fayette County communities in all areas as we can.”
“Many of these projects would not be possible without LSA funding,” Vicites said. “This round of funding was a good geographical representation of projects, reaching all corners of the county and covering a variety of funding categories.”
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 a more attractive 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.”
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: Photos attached (LSA Award Recipients; LSA Award Ceremony; Commissioner Dave Lohr; Commissioner Vince Vicites; Commissioner Scott Dunn)
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) 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.