State awards $12.8 M in slots money for municipal projects
HARRISBURG – A state authority Wednesday awarded $12.8 million representing the local share of slots revenue from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to help pay for 17 municipal improvement and development projects in Luzerne County.
The projects approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority range from the restoration of the former Sterling Hotel and former First National Bank Building, both in Wilkes-Barre, to a parking decks for a new intermodal transit center in Hazleton.
The authority considered 76 applications for the local slots share for fiscal 2009-10 before deciding on the 17 projects. The slots share is being distributed on a wider geographic basis in Luzerne County as a result of provisions in the state law that legalized table games at the slots casinos.
This system is designed to give all municipalities in Luzerne an equal shot at getting a share of revenue and advance projects with a countywide impact.
It replaces a system in place for several years where municipalities contiguous to the casino in Plains Township received priority consideration for funding.
Some of the projects approved are receiving funding over several years.
The projects include:
- $2.4 million to continue highway improvements in Jenkins and Pittston townships. The roughly $12 million project was approved three years ago, with funding spread out over five years.
- $1.5 million for the Riverfront Development and Infrastructure project on Market Street in Kingston.
- $1.5 million to construct two parking decks above the Church Street intermodal transit center in Hazleton. This project will get additional funding in future years.
- $1.3 million for Phase I of the Dallas downtown master plan.
- $1 million to continue the East Side Landfill Development project in Plains Township, which is slated to cost a total of $5 million.