Dauphin County Commissioners OK $6.1 Million in Gaming Grants to Help Municipalities with Public Safety, Human Services, Infrastructure Projects

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The Dauphin County Commissioners awarded gaming dollars from Hollywood Casino to provide for school security enhancements, emergency responder equipment, food bank resources, and infrastructure projects – among many other initiatives.

The Board of Commissioners approved Feb. 24 the awarding of 78 recipients with funding available through the casino local share revenue program.

More than $6.1 million will be awarded to projects and agencies across the county, saving local taxpayers financial burden and preserving an estimated 12,000 construction-related jobs.

“These are projects and programs that would require taxpayer funds if not for the local share revenue,” Commissioner Chair Jeff Haste said. “It is imperative that lawmakers and Gov. Wolf preserve this program which, year after year, enhances community growth and strength.”

The Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board (GAB) presented recommendations to the commissioners for recipients of funding. Those recommendations were made following application and hearing processes.

The GAB said it considered and prioritized public interest, emergency and human services, transportation, and infrastructure projects.

The local share funds, by law, cannot be used for property taxes.

“They go a long way in keeping property taxes from being increased,” Commissioner Mike Pries said. “These project costs otherwise would have been borne by taxpayers.”

Among the highlighted recipients were several schools funded for security projects, food insecurity services, police and fire department equipment, and park improvements.

“Food banks and services that provide essential items are crucial during this ongoing pandemic,” Commissioner George P. Hartwick said, while crediting the GAB for their fair consideration of the applicants.

- The Derry Township Police Department was awarded $128,387 to fund a body camera program. Mark Stewart, a presenter with the GAB, said the police department presented during the application process video of a traffic stop from vehicle camera and officer body camera vantagepoints. The body camera revealed bad behaviors by the driver, not visible via the police vehicle camera.

- Salvation Army was awarded $69,690 for a food recovery and nutrition program. NutriPacks, a food distribution program for the Central Dauphin School District, was awarded $50,000.

- Bishop Park ($150,000) in Swatara Township, construction of Brickyard Community Park ($90,000) in Steelton, Dauphin-Middle Paxton Joint Park ($126,300), and Boyd Park ($60,000) in Susquehanna Township also were awarded funds.

Projects that were applied and did not receive funding will be given prioritized reconsideration next year.

The Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board was created by the commissioners when local share money first became available. 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.

“Without the Local Share Municipal Grant program awards, there are many economic development projects that would not be possible due to lack of funding sources,” said George Connor, executive director of Dauphin County Office of Community & Economic Development. “This grant program assists in leveraging other dollars to complete project budgets.” 

Here is a complete list of projects awarded funding:

Host & Contiguous

  1. East Hanover Township (Annual road maintenance, fire company self-contained breathing apparatus) - $500,000
  2. South Hanover Township (Municipal complex debt reduction) - $284,000
  3. Derry Township ($157,069 Police and Public Works radios; $68,400 Hershey Volunteer Fire Co. radio replacements; $45,000 Derry Township School District safety and security upgrades and $17,700 Hershey American Legion building roof replacement) - $288,169
  4. Middle Paxton Township ($124,000 Potato Valley Road Bridge debt; $126,300 Dauphin Middle Paxton Joint Park Authority site development plan and ADA improvements) - $250,300
  5. Rush Township (Skid steer vehicle) - $74,236

Other Awards

  1. Dauphin County Parks & Recreation Department (Repair and restoration of Wildwood Park boardwalk) - $50,000
  2. Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office (Replacement of mobile and portable police radios) - $68,000
  3. Dauphin Co. Local Emergency Planning Committee (Hazardous Materials Duty Officer response vehicle replacement) - $69,330
  4. Dauphin County General Authority (Golf course irrigation system debt payment) - $141,200
  5. Susquehanna Township ($90,000 Uptown infrastructure improvement project debt payment and $60,000 Boyd Park Phase 2 improvements) - $150,000
  6. Susquehanna Township ($90,000 Uptown infrastructure improvement project debt payment and $60,000 Boyd Park Phase 2 improvements) - $150,000
  7. Penbrook Borough (Sewer Interceptor replacement) - $85,000
  8. Royalton Borough ($75,000 Borough Hall HVAC project debt service; and $20,000 Police radios and police safety equipment) - $95,000
  9. Swatara Township (Bishop Park multi-purpose trail construction project) - $150,000
  10. Hummelstown Borough (Municipal and Public Safety Building debt reduction) - $49,015
  11. Jackson Township/Fisherville Vol. Fire Co. (Fire Station addition construction debt) - $36,522
  12. Lower Swatara Township ($188,418 Annual DCIB loan payments and PennVest loan repayment; and $50,000 Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Co. Tanker 59 debt reduction) - $238,418
  13. Upper Paxton Township/Millersburg Fire Co. No. 1 (Fire truck emergency and on scene lighting) - $60,478
  14. Millersburg Area School District (Security and accessibility upgrades at schools) - $48,000
  15. Steelton Borough Brickyard Community Park construction) - $90,000
  16. Paxtang Borough (Municipal Complex improvements) - $150,000
  17. Londonderry Township (Sanitary sewer extension) - $140,000
  18. Lower Paxton Township (Lower Paxton Twp. Police Dept. body cameras and mobile vehicle cameras) - $128,387
  19. Harrisburg City (Public Safety Building HVAC system replacement) - $150,000
  20. Halifax Borough (Retention wall replacement and storm water line installation) - $75,000
  21. Lykens Borough/Authority ($75,000 Lykens Borough Phase III replacement of water distribution system; $41,000 Liberty Hose Co. No. 2 replacement of hoses and nozzles) - $116,000
  22. Halifax Township/Halifax Fire Department (Purchase Brush Truck and associated equipment) - $50,000
  23. Elizabethville Borough/Reliance Hose Co. No. 1 (Pierce Pumper Truck debt reduction) - $40,000
  24. Berrysburg Municipal Authority (Sewage Treatment Plant System project) - $34,000
  25. Reed Township (Contribution to debt payment on aerial fire apparatus) - $37,000
  26. Harrisburg Rugby Football Club (Design and construction of rugby fields and related improvements) - $50,000
  27. Dauphin Co. Library System (Integration of Downtown Library facilities) - $75,000
  28. The Salvation Army (Food recovery, assistance and nutrition services program) - $69,690
  29. Harrisburg Scottish Rite Cathedral and Masonic Theatre (Lighting conversion project) - $34,720
  30. Court Administration for Magisterial District Judges (Debt reduction on construction of new MDJ facilities) - $170,000
  31. Williamstown Borough/ Williamstown American Legion Post 239 (JFK Hall renovations to bathroom facilities) - $63,560
  32. Wiconisco Fire Engine Co. (Debt reduction on new fire rescue) - $40,000
  33. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (Camp Small Valley capital improvements) - $53,000
  34. Keystone Service Systems, Inc. (Capital Area Head Start service dogs) - $50,000
  35. CASA Charter School Foundation (Academic classroom expansion project) - $75,000
  36. Harrisburg City School District (John Harris Campus security camera replacements) - $47,500
  37. Gamut Theatre (Debt reduction on building renovation) - $45,000
  38. GreenWorks Development (Redevelopment of Midtown Harrisburg for mixed-use project) - $75,000
  39. Susquehanna Art Museum (Replacement recreational vehicle for VanGo! art gallery) - $60,000
  40. Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (Renovation, repair and restoration of Church facility) - $51,000
  41. Breaking the Chainz (Repairs to apartment building for displaced families working with Dauphin Co. Children & Youth Services and other agencies) - $35,000
  42. Driven From Within (Support for after-school programs, youth tutoring, college tours and classes) - $5,000
  43. D&H Distributing (Construction of new training center) - $33,486
  44. Harrisburg Area Community College (Purchase of self-contained breathing apparatus system for public safety training programs) - $75,000
  45. Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts (Renovations to create Innovation Studio for STEAM education) - $75,000
  46. Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (Fire Department restroom renovation project) - $21,825
  47. Panther Ram Foundation (Central Dauphin School District Nutri-packs program) - $50,000
  48. Harrisburg University (HUE Festival and renovation of academic space) - $75,000
  49. The Nativity School (New school facility Phase II renovations) - $75,000
  50. Camp Curtin YMCA (Design and construction of affordable housing) - $75,000
  51. The Homeland Center (Security infrastructure improvements and visitor management) - $56,000
  52. Middletown Volunteer Fire Dept. (Pumper Truck debt reduction) - $94,978
  53. Phase 4 Learning Center, Inc. (Update existing and acquire new technology resources conditioned upon resources being used in Dauphin Co.) - $74,874
  54. Penn State University (Harrisburg Innovation Park planning project) - $35,000
  55. Ghost Brewing Company d/b/a Rubber Soul (Phase II construction of brewery) - $85,000
  56. Hanna Education Foundation (Food pantry enhancement) - $25,000
  57. Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania (Construction of tiny homes community for veterans conditioned upon matching funds being obtained for the project) - $69,000
  58. Capital Area Soccer Association (Upgrade Ranger and George Park Fields) - $25,000
  59. Catholic Charities (Saint Samuel Center windows and door replacements) - $25,000
  60. Downtown Daily Bread (Debt service on installation of air-conditioning in Day Shelter) - $20,000
  61. Farm of Hope (Improvements to driveways and walkways at farm serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities) - $15,000
  62. The National Civil War Museum (Reduction of long-term debt) - $25,000
  63. OC Highway LLC (Renovate Opportunity House to provide housing, life skills and vocational training) - $75,000
  64. The Program, It’s About Change (Reduction of debt on Phase I renovations of Ray of Hope House) - $50,000
  65. Cyrene Lodge 169 (Building repairs and tree removal) - $29,250
  66. Linglestown Baseball Association (Koons Park Baseball Field Upgrades) - $68,500
  67. The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg (Renovations and upgrades to facilities and purchase of a wheelchair accessible bus) - $75,000
  68. Ecumenical Community of Harrisburg (Portico replacement and deck) - $10,000
  69. Capital Region Literacy Council (Purchase and distribution of new children’s books) - $20,000
  70. Communities in Schools of PA (Renovate local headquarters and establish a youth Re-engagement Center) - $27,000
  71. Devon Manor Pool and Swim Club (Infrastructure and facilities improvements) - $25,000
  72. Hospice of Central PA (Conference room safety, technology and intake area upgrades) - $25,000
  73. Hummelstown Area Historical Society (Restoration of the Parish House building) - $25,000
  74. Middletown Swim Club (Repairs and upgrades to pool facility) - $17,167
  75. New Birth of Freedom Council, Boy Scouts of America (Scoutreach Program Dauphin County affordability and accessibility initiative) - $15,000
  76. Pop’s House (Debt reduction on acquisition of home for veterans conditioned upon funds being applied to payoff IDA loan) - $30,000
  77. Summit Terrace Neighborhood Association (Upgrade and revitalize community building and fund technology upgrades) - $10,000
  78. Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority (Administration) - $650,000

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett Hambright, Press Secretary, 717-780-6311; bhambright@dauphinc.org.