State Sen. David G. Argall (R-29) and state Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-124) announced on Monday two state grants totaling $500,000 for Orwigsburg and Tamaqua.

The funding was awarded through the Department of Environmental Protection's PA Conservation Works grant program.

The program's primary goal is designed to assist local governments and non-profits with the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with the goals of reducing costs, creating jobs, and making advancements in green energy technology.

"It's gratifying to see this important funding targeted for municipalities in Schuylkill County," Argall said. "These grants will provide savings for these two boroughs by significantly reducing their energy costs," Argall added.

"At a time when governments are trying to do more with less, any effort to reduce costs is welcome," said Knowles. "By employing state-of-the-art technologies in these projects, Tamaqua and Orwigsburg will see significant reductions in their energy costs and that means savings for local taxpayers."

"When borough council and the Taskforce started the redevelopment of Community Memorial Hall we wanted to create a viable community asset which could sustain itself," said Mike Lonergan, Orwigsburg borough manager.

"Utilizing state of the art Geo-Thermal and Solar energy systems for heating and cooling should reduce energy costs for the Memorial by close to 50 percent."

"In the midst of this terrible recession, I am pleased to see such a significant amount of money flowing into our community," said Micah Gursky, president, Tamaqua Borough Council.

"Tamaqua Borough is making a serious effort to implement improvements to our waste water treatment facility. In addition to being good stewards of the environment, this funding will also reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers," Gursky added.