Funding to help first responders and make schools safer among $6 million in gaming grants awarded by Dauphin County Commissioners

HARRISBURG, PA (March 8, 2018) The Dauphin County Commissioners yesterday awarded more than 50 projects that directly help communities without using local property tax dollars.
Funding for the $6 million in projects comes from the county’s share of gaming revenue generated from Hollywood Casino at Penn National in East Hanover Township.
“We want to thank lawmakers for continuing the revenue sharing program, which allows us to fund vital needs that would otherwise go unmet or force local property tax increases,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “From protecting children and helping first responders to upgrading water, sewer and other infrastructure, all these projects improve the quality of life for our residents.’’
Among the public safety and infrastructure projects receiving funding:
·         School Safety: $75,600 to install security cameras in two Central Dauphin elementary schools that are linked to the police and allows officers to view real-time footage. The district – the largest in the county with more than 11,000 students -- previously received $220,000 for cameras in its two high and middle schools and eight of its 13 elementary schools. The project will eventually include Landis Field and the transportation and maintenance building.
·         Neighborhood Safety:  $145,000 for the Harrisburg police to upgrade equipment for its officers, including new vests that can stop high-powered rounds, a motorcycle for quick response in heavy traffic for better communication with neighboring departments. Swatara Township received $13,000to acquire and train a new police dog.
·         Fire Safety: $354,301 for new firefighter vehicles in East Hanover, Susquehanna, Wiconisco townships, Steelton and Lykens. South Hanover Township received $97,000 for a fire station training tower and Harrisburg received $54,724 for rescue diving equipment.
·         Environmental Safety: $644,550 for improvements to water and sewer systems in Berrysburg, Elizabethville, Lykens and Pillow boroughs and Susquehanna and Londonderry townships.
“The positive impact of the projects made possible by these grants benefit our communities for years,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “In addition to public safety, these grants pay for everything from safe places for our children to play to support agencies that help our most vulnerable residents.’’
In all, the projects are expected to attract almost $30 million in additional investment and create or retain more than 2,517 permanent or construction jobs.
“There’s not a single project on this list that doesn’t directly improve the lives of our residents,’’ said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “Every grant dollar is a dollar that doesn’t have to come from property taxes.’’
After the state Supreme Court in September 2016 overturned the casino revenue-sharing program, state lawmakers amended the law late last year to meet legal requirements and ensure counties and municipalities would continue to benefit. While lawmakers worked on the legislative fix, the commissioners also praised Hollywood Casino for being a good corporate citizen and agreeing to continue funding the program throughout 2017.
Project requests are initially reviewed by the five-member Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board (GAB), which was created by the commissioners when local share money first became available. In addition to reviewing projects in a fair and open process, the board is responsible for tracking ongoing work to ensure the money is used as intended.
Under state law, the county must use the grant funds for projects that help human services; improve local infrastructure, such as water and sewer; transportation; health and safety needs; and public interest initiatives.
The following is the complete list of projects approved by the commissioners:
Host & Contiguous Municipalities
1.     East Hanover Township ($625,000 Debt service for Public Works bldg. and $125,000 new fire engine) - $750,000
2.     South Hanover Township ($200,000 new municipal/fire complex; $97,500 Fire Station training tower improvements)  - $297,500
3.     Derry Township (Fire station debt service) - $250,000
4.     Middle Paxton Township ($76,000 Fishing Creek Community Building improvements; $124,000 Potato Valley Rd. debt reduction; $25,560 Dauphin-Middle Paxton Joint Park Authority Kennedy Grandstand roof ) - $225,560
5.     Rush Township (Jefferson Township new salt shed) - $128,000
6.     West Hanover Township (Fire station debt and S.R. 39 right-of-way/utility relocation debt) - $250,000
Other Awards
1.     Dauphin Co. Parks & Recreation ($75,000 Detweiler Park master site plan; $26,000 Fort Hunter Station Planning Project) - $101,000
2.     Susquehanna Township ($125,000 Authority Sanitary Sewer System extension; $25,000 Progress Fire Company vehicle replacement; $9,000 Wedgewood Hills Swim Club heat pump installation) - $159,000
3.     Lower Swatara Township (Richardson Road bridge replacement debt) - $51,000
4.     Upper Paxton Township (Municipal building stormwater and parking lot paving) - $85,000
5.     Millersburg Borough (Millersburg Area Pool Association improvements) - $70,000
6.     City of Harrisburg ($145,000 Police Bureau equipment purchase; $30,000 Engineering Bureau emergency vehicle preemption; $54,724 Fire Bureau Dive Team equipment) -$229,724
7.     Lykens Borough ($100,000 Water Treatment Facility improvement; $23,801 Liberty Hose Fire engine refurbishment debt reduction) - $123,801
8.     Central Dauphin School District (School safety improvement project) - $75,600
9.     Lower Paxton Township ($38,498 Devon Manor Pool improvements; $10,327 Koon’s Pool improvements; $34,000 Capital Area Soccer Association upgrades to Ranger and George Parks) - $82,825
10.  Hummelstown Borough (Municipal building debt service) - $58,471
11.  Steelton Borough ($43,000 Fire Department apparatus debt reduction; $17,165 Skate Park debt reduction) - $60,165
12.  Halifax Township (Emergency management communications) - $12,000
13.  Londonderry Township (Waterline infrastructure extension) - $200,000
14.  Highspire Borough (Roadway rehabilitation program) -  $57,200
15.  Swatara Township (Police Department K-9 and training; conditioned on full funding from Township and/or other sources and dog remaining with Police Department) - $13,000
16.  Wiconisco Township ($40,000 Municipal building debt reduction; $40,000 Fire rescue engine debt reduction) - $80,000
17.  Jackson Township (Fisherville Volunteer Fire Company building debt reduction) - $44,000
18.  Elizabethville Borough (Authority Smith Avenue Pump Station Replacement) - $100,000
19.  Halifax Borough (Sidewalk construction school safety project) - $100,000
20.  Berrysburg Borough (Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements) - $100,000
21.  Pillow Borough (Well #4 replacement) - $19,550
22.  Dauphin Co. Redevelopment Authority (Authority project on former State Hospital property) - $100,000
23.  Dauphin Co. Industrial Development Authority (Solar Farm project debt reduction) - $137,000
24.  MDJ Court Administration (Construction of MDJ buildings) - $200,000
25.  Dauphin Co. Land Bank Authority (Renovation of vacant homes) - $100,000
26.  Heinz Menaker Senior Center, Inc. (Senior Center ADA compliant restrooms) - $25,000
27.  Open Stage of Harrisburg (Facility and equipment upgrades) - $32,000
28.  The Nativity School (Furniture purchase and building renovations) - $40,000
29.  Beacon Clinic (HVAC Installation and Renovations) - $5,000
30.  Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA (Environmental education at Camp Small Valley) - $100,000
31.  Salvation Army (New headquarters and services facility) - $50,000
32.  Habitat for Humanity (Blight initiative weatherization project; condition to use in Dauphin County) - $28,000
33.  Homeland Center (Emergency generator project) - $40,000
34.  Heroes Grove Memorial (Phase II amphitheater improvement project) - $225,000
35.  Restin One, LLC (Waterline infrastructure at new Comfort Inn & Suites) - $100,000
36.  Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg (Fire alarm system upgrade) - $19,000
37.  Capital Region Literacy Corp. (Books in schools and clinic program) - $30,000
38.  Bright Futures Learning Centers (Learning centers expansion) - $16,500
39.  Shalom House (Security upgrades and electrical work) - $5,000
40.  Dauphin Co. Bar Foundation (Custody clinic campaign; conditioned upon not applying
for two years) - $37,500
41.  Penn FC f/k/a Harrisburg City Islanders (2018 field conversion project) - $72,562
42.  Harrisburg Rugby Football Club (Perseverance Fields improvements) - $50,000
43.  Hospice of Central PA (Carolyn’s House flooring improvements) - $47,100
44.  Humane Society of Harrisburg Area (Expansion of veterinary services; condition to use mobile units) - $70,000
45.  Journeyman Advancement (Office equipment purchase) - $700
46.  American Red Cross (Home Fire Preparedness Campaign; condition to use in Dauphin County) - $22,500
47.  Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg, Inc. (Emergency generator project) - $75,000
48.  Central Dauphin Rams Diamondbackers Baseball Club (Field improvements and equipment purchase) - $10,000
49.  The Foundation of Central Dauphin Schools (Nutri-Packs Program) - $60,000
50.  Steelton Borough/Capital Region Economic Development Corporation (Arcelor Mittal gas line extension; conditioned on PIPE program award and match by UGI and/or Arcelor Mittal) - $135,000
51.  The Wheelhouse (Steelton-Highspire School District fish hatchery project) - $125,000
52.  Butler Street Senior Living (Rehabilitation of blighted property into new senior living facility) - $40,000
53.  Camp Curtin YMCA (Conversion of indoor pool into recreational area) - $100,000
54.  Churchville Cemetery Association (Headstone repairs and purchase of new tractor) - $37,955
55.  Williamstown American Legion (Veterans community center van purchase) - $36,000
56.  The Arc of Dauphin Co. (Respite Center Phase II improvements) - $32,853
57.  The Partnership for Hope (Transportation and storage for basic needs program) - $15,000
58.  Midtown Action Council (Historic marker revitalization and expansion project) - $13,652
59.  PA State Police Historical, Educational Memorial Center (Wall of Honor design and construction) - $92,700
For more information about the GAB or the county’s gaming grant process, please visit or contact the county’s Department of Community and Economic Development at 717-780-6250.