PA: Proposed State Budget Includes Extra $1M for Schuylkill Transportation System

The Schuylkill Transportation System could receive an additional $1 million in funding for the makeover of its facility at the Saint Clair Industrial Park as part of the proposed state capital budget.

The project was originally slated to receive $2 million in federal, state and local funding, but Gov. Tom Corbett recommended $3 million in his capital improvement spending plan.

Presented alongside the annual fiscal spending plan, a capital budget itemizes proposed infrastructure projects and sets the maximum level of funding for each. While appearing on the list does not guarantee funding, it is often the first step in doing so as state financing becomes available.

The county commissioners approved in June 2013 renovations at the facility totaling $1,926,300. Also included in the approval was $414,000 for six 14-passenger small transit buses, bringing the total project to $2,340,000. Financing comes from $1,541,040 in federal funds, $734,116 in state funds and $64,144 in a local match from the county.

Corbett recommended $2,400,000 in federal funding, decreasing state contributions to $581,000 and the county match to $16,000, all totaling $3 million.

STS has used the Saint Clair facility as a maintenance and administrative building since 1988.

The other multimillion dollar project in the capital budget in the county was for a new maintenance facility for the state Department of Transportation. The recommended budget for that project is up to $3 million.

New maintenance facilities were listed for each county for about the same amount. Rich Kirkpatrick, acting press secretary for PennDOT, said the projects were included as a precaution in case anything were to happen to the current facilities or if more storage space was necessary. Kirkpatrick said it also expedites the funding process.

The PennDOT site in Schuylkill County is located in Schuylkill Haven. Storage at the sites includes everything from salt and equipment to trucks.

Also included in the capital budget was $1.5 million for projects at Weiser State Forest in Pine Grove.

Corbett recommended $1.2 million for the rehabilitation of the Haldeman Maintenance Headquarters and another $300,000 for the construction of a trail bridge over the south branch of Roaring Creek.

Copyright 2014 - Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.