Funding for affordable housing and enhancing community safety and health among $6.4 million in gaming grants awarded by Dauphin County Commissioners

HARRISBURG, PA (February 27, 2019) – The Dauphin County Commissioners today awarded funding for more than 60 projects that help communities improve their residents’ quality of life without using local property tax dollars.

Funding for the $6.4 million in projects comes from the county’s share of gaming revenue generated from Hollywood Casino at Penn National in East Hanover Township.

“From helping to upgrade water and sewer systems to equipment for first responders, these grants pay for needs that otherwise would go unmet or trigger the need to raise taxes at the local or county level,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste.

“One way we’ve held the line on property taxes for 14 years is by concentrating on spending this grant money where it will do the most good,’’ Haste said.

Among the projects receiving funding:

Public Safety and Technology Infrastructure: $203,000 for Harrisburg to upgrade its phone system and create an off-site backup digital storage facility for vital information such as crime data, tax and property records and codes information. Swatara Township received $130,347 for an officer and equipment, including portable scales, to establish a Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program to enforce commercial truck weight restrictions.

Affordable Housing: $125,000 to Tri-County HDC to help fund a $1.4 million project to build 12 townhomes in the 100 block of Adams Street in Steelton for low- and moderate-income families. The county’s Redevelopment Authority received $140,000 to demolish the former Lykens School, next to the recently completed 28-unit Union House apartments and prepare the site for future development.

Infrastructure and Flood Control: $161,121 to Millersburg to control Center Street flooding, including building a retaining wall and other stream bank and drainage improvements. West Hanover Township received $275,000 to extend the sewer system to 135 lots and help property owners with connection costs.

“Using local gaming dollars for these projects is a win for the taxpayers,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “In almost all cases these projects also create additional jobs and investment, which has a positive ripple effect for our entire county.’’

In all, the projects are expected to attract almost $45 million in additional investment and create or retain more than 2,495 permanent or construction jobs.

Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III pointed to the $115,000 awarded to the Hamilton Health Center to remove contaminated soil from an adjacent lot to clear the way for the clinic’s expansion as a prime example of the far-reaching impact gaming grants have on the community.

“Without Hamilton Health Center, literally thousands of men, women and children would not have access to the quality health care they need and deserve,’’ Hartwick said. “These grants allow us to maintain essential services without increasing the financial burden on residents.’’

Jeannine D. Peterson, Hamilton’s CEO, said without the commissioners’ grant approval, the overall project to build a 30,000-square-foot building with an adjacent parking lot would be delayed – at a time when demand is growing. Peterson said the grant money will be combined with $1.3 million in state funding for the soil cleanup.

“We’ve run out of exam room space and we want to expand our medical and behavioral health services,’’ Peterson said, adding Hamilton also has a county contract to provide case management for pregnant, addicted women. “We are integrating our medical, substance abuse and behavioral health services and as we expand, we are focused on developing a holistic approach for the entire family.’’

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 2008. In addition to reviewing projects in a fair and open process, the GAB 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; enhance transportation; address health and safety needs; assist with emergency services; and further public interest initiatives.

The following is the complete list of projects approved by the commissioners:


Approval of the Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board recommendations, including all proposed conditions, and award, allocation and appropriation of gaming funds to the following recipients, in the following amounts, and subject to any additional noted conditions, and each, where appropriate, to be memorialized in a grant agreement in a form to be approved by the commissioners:

Host & Contiguous

  1. East Hanover Township (Public Works Building debt reduction; Culvert replacement and various roads; and Fire engine debt) - $750,000
  2. South Hanover Township ($100,000 Municipal Complex debt reduction; $107,000 New emergency response support vehicle; $26,000 Salt Storage expansion and miscellaneous improvements; and $10,000 AACA Museum HVAC system) - $243,000
  3. Derry Township ($250,000 Fire Station construction debt reduction; and $38,000 Senior Citizens Council of Derry Township van) - $288,000
  4. Middle Paxton Township ($124,000 Potato Valley Road Bridge; $100,000 Blue Mountain Parkway resurfacing; and $30,000 Dauphin Area Senior Transit van) - $254,000
  5. West Hanover Township (Houck Manor/Holiday Park public sewer extension project) - $275,000

Other Awards

  1. Dauphin Co. Parks & Recreation Department ($75,000 Fort Hunter Station adaptive reuse; $30,000 Wildwood Lake restoration design and permitting; and $25,000 Civil War Grave care) -  $130,000
  2. Penbrook Borough (Sewer Interceptor replacement) - $50,000
  3. Swatara Township (Police Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program conditioned upon Township creating and maintaining a permanent officer MCSAP position) - $130,347
  4. Heroes Fund, Inc. (Phase 3 improvements and playground renovation) - $45,000
  5. Jackson Township/ Fisherville Vol. Fire Co. (Fire Station addition construction debt) - $37,000
  6. Pillow Borough Authority (Install two generators and Cold Spring control system) - $50,000
  7. Millersburg Borough (Center Street flood and erosion control measures conditioned upon obtaining Dauphin Co. Infrastructure Bank loan for $183,713) - $161,121
  8. Millersburg Area School District (Security and accessibility upgrades at schools) - $51,000
  9. Steelton Borough/Steelton Vol. Fire Dept. ($30,000 Phase II Skate Park; $64,394.43 Fire Department personal protective gear and mobile equipment and lighting) - $94,394
  10. Cameron Street Boxing Club (Renovate and equip new facility) - $35,000
  11. The Salvation Army (Security system installation) - $53,000
  12. Dauphin Co. Library System (Public and staff computer replacements) - $50,000
  13. Keystone Service Systems, Inc. (Purchase building to provide Pre-K services conditioned upon closing on property within one year) - $30,000
  14. Londonderry Township (Replacement of Lauffer Road Bridge) - $150,000
  15. Harrisburg Rugby Football Club (Design and construction of rugby fields with lights) - $25,000
  16. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (Infrastructure improvements and security upgrades at headquarters) - $44,823
  17. D&H Distributing (Construction of new and expanded training center) - $160,000
  18. Washington Township (Municipal building improvements, building addition and upgrades) - $100,000
  19. Elizabethville Area Authority (Replacement of Smith Avenue Wastewater Pump Station) - $100,000
  20. Elizabethville Area Community Alliance (Park and pool pump, filter, electrical and other repairs and improvements) - $40,000
  21. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 143 (HVAC system revamp and classroom materials) - $100,000
  22. Lower Paxton Township ($110,000 Rehabilitation of Friendship Center waterslide; $22,400 Koons Memorial Park Swim Club paint project; $15,750 Penn Colonial Swim Club pump and filter housing units) - $148,150
  23. Dauphin County General Authority (Replace irrigation system and develop new water source at Dauphin Highlands) - $120,000
  24. Cherry Orchard Place LLC (Construction of new 49-unit affordable housing for seniors) - $200,000
  25. Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority (Demolition and clean-up of Old Lykens School site for future development) - $140,000
  26. Lykens Borough  ($80,000 Lykens Borough replacement of water distribution system; $19,479 Liberty Hose Co. mobile radio upgrades) - $99,479
  27. Hamilton Health Center (Land acquisition and soil remediation of adjacent property) - $115,000
  28. The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg (Purchase generator for all-hazards emergency plan) - $70,000
  29. Middletown Area Interfaith Housing (Commercial building repairs to generate funds to benefit youth programs and services) - $10,000
  30. Lower Swatara Township (Debt service on bridge replacement projects and Act 537 sewage facilities plan updates) - $181,276
  31. Tri-County HDC (Redevelopment of vacant and former blighted property) - $125,000
  32. Susquehanna Township ($150,000 Debt service for uptown infrastructure improvements; $50,000 debt reduction on Squad 32 vehicle) - $200,000
  33. Theatre Harrisburg (Theater seating and platforms purchase) - $25,000
  34. Upper Paxton Township (Reconstruction and improvement of West Pearl Street conditioned upon receiving CDBG or raising full funding) - $100,000
  35. Gratz Borough (Pump replacement and installation of generator and control system) - $36,200
  36. Reed Township (Contribution to debt payment on aerial fire apparatus) - $40,000
  37. Pop’s House (Reduction of debt incurred for acquisition of veterans center) - $30,000
  38. The Vista School (Safety and security improvements) - $30,000
  39. Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (Purchase mini-pumper for Harrisburg International Airport Fire Department) - $100,000
  40. Middletown Volunteer Fire Department (Pumper Truck replacement project) - $125,000
  41. Linden Centre, LLC (Curbing, paving, site utilities and storm water BMPS conditioned upon this being the last funding request for the project) - $125,000
  42. City of Harrisburg (Redundant data center and telecommunications modernization) - $203,000
  43. Camp Curtin YMCA (Affordable Housing construction project conditioned upon securing remaining funding within three years) - $50,000
  44. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (Safety and security improvements) - $8,230
  45. Berrysburg Municipal Authority (Sewage Treatment Plant system replacement and clarifier conversion) - $40,000
  46. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (Conversion of IT operations) - $22,000
  47. Capital Region Literacy Council (Purchase children’s books for reading program) - $17,875
  48. Court Administration for Magisterial District Judges (Debt reduction on construction of new MDJ offices) - $200,000
  49. Halifax Borough (Electrical, HVAC and accessibility renovations to Halifax Historical Society) - $50,000
  50. Harrisburg Scottish Rite Masonic Theatre (Auditorium media upgrades) - $47,780
  51. Harrisburg University (HUE Festival security services) - $25,000
  52. Hummelstown Borough (Debt reduction on new municipal/public safety building) - $50,496
  53. Loyal Order of the Moose Family Center #59 (Family Center ADA improvements) - $12,000
  54. Oasis Community/Living Water Church (Park and playground project installation) - $30,000
  55. The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (Dauphin County Court Appointed Special Advocate Program for youth conditioned upon the funds not being contributed to salary or other personnel costs) - $15,000
  56. Wiconisco Fire Engine Co. (Debt reduction on new fire rescue and equipment) - $40,000
  57. Wiconisco Township (Municipal building debt reduction) - $40,000
  58. Breaking the Chainz, Inc. (Van for community restoration centers) - $29,411
  59. Phase 4 Learning Center, Inc. (Curriculum and software for diploma retrieval, job training/preparation program) - $20,000
  60. American Literacy Corp. (Dauphin Co. Reading Initiative promotion) - $4,500
  61. Life Esteem (Holistic Health Wellness Center marketing and program materials) - $3,500
  62. Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority (Administration) - $550,000


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.