Reading, PA – November 19, 2021 – Berks County State Legislators announced three Greater Reading Area projects received a total of $1,352,687 in grant funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community of Economic Development’s (DCED) Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
Governor Mifflin School District was awarded a $620,000 Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) grant for Secondary Campus Transportation Improvements. Mifflin will use the grant to update and improve S Waverly Street, the main access point to the district’s Middle School and High School. The project will include updating crosswalks, sidewalks, implementing traffic-calming measures, and constructing a new entrance. The street improvements are an integral part of the plan to build the new Governor Mifflin Community Center.
“This is just one piece of a much larger project Governor Mifflin has taken on,” Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th district) said. “When I met with school district administrators about the plans for a new facility and what it would mean not only for students, but the entire community, it was clear to me this project was worthy of support. The safety improvements to Waverly Street will ensure an already busy street is capable of accommodating the increased traffic it will see when the facility is constructed and help keep students and faculty safe.”
“Competition for Multimodal Transportation Program grants is always very strong,” Rep. Mark Gillen (R-128th district) said. “I commend Governor Mifflin School District officials for developing a successful grant proposal, which included input from the community, and which will greatly improve safety through the school complex. These state grant funds will complement the significant investment the district is making in its school campus construction project, which will pay dividends for the Governor Mifflin community for many decades to come.”
The City of Reading received $600,000 for the 18th Ward Bicycle Pedestrian Trail Project. The funding will improve and connect bicycle trails and is a piece of the ongoing 18th Wonder Revitalization Association plan announced in 2017.
“Trails and spaces residents can use for outdoor recreational activities make our community healthier and give us all an opportunity to enjoy the scenery of Berks County,” Schwank said. “The ongoing improvements taking place in the 18th ward ensure that the needs of residents are met. I’m grateful the commonwealth sees the value in this project.”
“It’s been an honor to work with the community and business leaders of the 18th Ward and the 18th Wonder Community Association,” Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-126th district) said. We set a vision for the area and I am thrilled to see it coming to fruition. This is a huge addition for residents and visitors of the area!”
City of Reading Mayor Eddie Morán also touted the importance of the project and thanked Schwank for supporting the city’s grant application.
“I am tremendously grateful to Senator Schwank for helping the City of Reading secure this grant,” said Morán. “Connectivity and accessibility for all is a priority for me. Upon completing this project, we will have new ADA ramps, a pedestrian and bike trail, better signage, and other enhancements, ensuring the 18th Ward and Oakbrook community can safely perform their daily tasks with the option to use alternative transportation. Our goal continues to be to make Reading a better place to live, learn, work and play.”
The CFA also approved Act 13 Programs grants at today’s board meeting. The Borough of Fleetwood was awarded $132,687 in Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program (GTRP) grant funding. The money will be used to construct a new bandshell, seated area covering, American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant pathways and new landscaping at Fleetwood Park.
“When Fleetwood officials realized the existing bandshell was structurally compromised, they quickly acted to and moved forward with a plan to replace it,” Schwank said. “The bandshell has been a central feature in the Fleetwood community for years and has been home to countless event that bring people together. The new and improved bandshell will be structurally sound, safe and provided expanded coverage so events don’t have to be canceled due to rain.”