News for Immediate Release
Aug. 22, 2014
Grant to Chester County Industrial
Development Authority to Improve Traffic Patterns and Public Safety in Valley
and Sadsbury Townships
Harrisburg–Governor Tom Corbett today
announced the award of a $2.5 million Economic Growth Initiative grant to the
Chester County Industrial Development Authority for road infrastructure
improvements of Washington Lane, a traffic thoroughfare in Valley and Sadsbury
The Economic Growth Initiative grant
addresses a number of public safety issues and is intended to improve traffic
patterns for Chester County residents, as well as government and corporate
entities along Washington Lane. One of the corporate entities, Sikorsky Global
Helicopters, Inc. is currently evaluating the expansion of its existing
helicopter manufacturing operations. Currently, to reach the Chester County
Airport for operational testing, the company’s helicopters must leave the
facility and perform a low hover to the airport, a procedure that occurs
several times a day. This requires closure of both ends of Washington
Lane to reduce risks to traffic using the road. These closures affect
nearby residents and area businesses.
The road is also utilized by the
National Guard. It is the main egress point from the National Guard’s
deployment center, should the Guard be deployed in a state of emergency.
“We are building a stronger
Pennsylvania through smart investments supporting companies and communities,”
Gov. Corbett said. “Partnering with job creators like Sikorsky is a prime
example of business working with the community to identify barriers to growth
and to develop solutions that will result in positive economic impact for all.”
The proposed road infrastructure
improvements would allow vehicular traffic to continue on Washington Lane and
support the movement of flight-ready helicopters at ground level in order to
cross into Chester County Airport’s controlled environment. The project
also positions Sikorsky for possible future expansion.
The proposed project is expected to
result in an estimated $5 million in capital investment and create a positive
economic impact. It is anticipated to create, retain and support more than
5,900 jobs for the region.
“Sikorsky appreciates this grant
eligibility and the improvements it could bring to the safety and efficiency of
our operations, as well as to the general public,” said Shane Eddy, Senior Vice
President, Operations, Sikorsky Aircraft. “We thank Governor Corbett and the
Chester County Industrial Development Authority for their support in selecting
us to pursue this grant.”
In 2012, Corbett reformed the
state’s method of funding Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program with a
significant redesign, making the process more transparent and objective.
Projects are now selected based upon their job-creation potential, their economic
impact, as well as their viability and construction readiness.
Prior to Corbett taking office, the
state’s spending and borrowing for capital redevelopment assistance had become
unsustainable for the state and its taxpayers, growing from $400 million in
1986 to slightly more than $4 billion in 2010. Corbett also said that the
program had strayed considerably from its intended purpose of encouraging and
assisting job growth through regional economic development projects.
Last round, the Corbett administration
announced 58 new Economic Growth Initiative grants, totaling more than $133
million. The announced projects are expected to create more than 45,000 jobs in
24 counties across the state.
To ensure the commonwealth can
continue supporting Economic Growth Initiative grants, Corbett continued to
urge the state legislature to enact meaningful pension reform and address the
current pension system’s $50 billion debt. Ballooning pension costs, which
consume approximately 60 cents of every new dollar of general fund revenues,
detract from the commonwealth’s ability to invest in economic development and
projects that spur job creation.
For more information on the program,
visit the Budget Office online at www.budget.state.pa.usand select the Redevelopment
Assistance Capital Program link.
Media contact: Jay Pagni, 717-783-1116
Editor’s note: For statutory and legislative
purposes, the Economic Growth Initiative program will continue to be known as the
Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.