Jim Thorpe gets $1M in state grants
Jim Thorpe Borough was awarded more than $1 million in state grants last week for two projects.
Extensive roadway improvements to High Street and renovations to the historic Asa Packer Mansion Museum are two of the five area economic development and transportation projects supported by the grants, according to state Sen. Dave Argall and state Rep. Doyle Heffley.
“The Borough of Jim Thorpe is grateful to Senator Argall and Representative Heffley for supporting our efforts to make these important infrastructure improvements. These Commonwealth Financing Agency Multimodal funds will enable the Borough of Jim Thorpe to make necessary repairs to a portion of a retaining wall, which supports High Street,” said Maureen Sterner, Jim Thorpe Borough Manager. “High Street retaining wall repairs are being completed in a phased manner, and this funding will assist the borough to complete Phase II of the master project. The repairs will not only have a positive impact on the street, but also ensures the safety of the houses located on High Street and below on West Broadway, as well as the borough’s water and sewer infrastructure.”
Jim Thorpe will receive $750,000 from the Multimodal Transportation Fund for the High Street improvements.
Last summer, former Jim Thorpe Public Works Manager Vince Yaich called the High Street wall, “a potential collapse waiting to happen.”
“You could lose your water and sewer line,” Yaich said. “You would also take that section of town down to one way in and one way out. It’s definitely cracking and pushing out. Every time you drive by it, it seems the bulge is getting a little worse.”
Heffley said supporting infrastructure projects in a town such as Jim Thorpe is important given the amount of people who visit each year.
“Projects that improve our area are imperative to maintain a destination that is safe and accessible,” Heffley said. “I’m happy that these grant dollars will be used to preserve and maintain the historic integrity of Carbon County.”
The borough will receive $300,000 from the statewide Local Share Account grant program for Asa Packer Mansion upgrades.
Repairs include a roof replacement, pegged at $320,000.
Beyond the roof, the mansion also needs heating improvements including a gas furnace and heat pump replacement; decking replacement; and electrical upgrades.
“From fixing our roads and bridges, to preserving the history of the Asa Packer Mansion, to a new effort to transform Lansford’s historic train station, these very competitive grants will help many in Carbon County,” Argall said. “Thank you to Rep. Heffley for working with me to bring these funds back to important projects for our communities.”
Other local projects supported by the statewide LSA program include:
• $925,000 to Bowmanstown Borough to construct a new fire station, borough hall, and emergency shelter,
• $75,000 to Lansford Borough to support the acquisition of the Lehigh New England Train Station, as part of plans to redevelop the station, and
• $226,955 to Lehighton Borough for a project to improve waterfront pedestrian safety and ease traffic in the borough, which includes a walking path along Lehigh Drive, decorative crosswalks, road improvements, and more.