HARRISBURG – Outdoor enthusiasts and our local economy stand to gain from a $150,000 Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) grant that has been awarded to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), according to state Rep. Matt Gabler.
“I enjoyed working with WPC Land Protection Manager Matt Marusiak to secure this grant,” Gabler said. “These tax dollars are an investment that will result in expanded opportunities for boaters, anglers and tourists, as well local governments that will realize increased revenue.”
The grant will allow the WPC to acquire a parcel of land along the Elk Scenic Drive, State Route 555 in Benezette Township, Elk County. The funding provides for land preservation of a key parcel that will be added to the Moshannon State Forest.
“Our region stands to benefit in many ways from this grant,” added Gabler. “Boaters and anglers will enjoy additional public access to the Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek, which has been a top priority for me. Water quality protections will be enhanced along this waterway, which was plagued by acid mine runoff until the success of recent mitigation efforts. Additionally, tourists will have additional options when it comes to viewing the elk, with the intent of avoiding conflicts on surrounding private lands.
“Finally, before endorsing this project, I ensured it would not negatively impact local government revenues. In fact, the township, county and school district are projected to see an increase in revenue upon completion of this acquisition. It is a tremendous project to get behind, and I thank everyone who had a hand in realizing this award.”
The Commonwealth Financing Authority, which was established in 2004, is supported in part by the Marcellus Legacy Fund, a product of Act 13 of 2012. The fund directs a portion of revenue from Pennsylvania’s natural gas extraction to local municipalities. The CFA’s responsibilities include funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth.
Questions about this legislation or any state-related matter may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688, his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301 or Clearfield office at (814) 765-0593.
State Representative Matt Gabler
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little