Commissioners OK $2.5M in revitalization grants

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WEST CHESTER — The Chester County Commissioners unanimously approved $2.5 million in grants through the County’s Community Revitalization Program (CRP) at Thursday’s public meeting.

“One of the goals of Chester County’s VISTA 2025 economic development strategy is to invest in growth in our urban centers,” said Commissioner Chair Michelle Kichline. “These Community Revitalization awards enhance our towns, spur additional economic development along our main streets and provide funding for necessary infrastructure to prepare for growth.”

The Borough of West Grove will receive a $1.3 million grant to be spent on updated construction costs, prevailing wage increases and an expansion of the Habitat for Humanity project to construct 36 homes at Willow Street and South Guernsey Road.

“Every citizen of Chester County deserves good, affordable housing,” said Kathi Cozzone, Commissioners’ Vice Chair. “These homes in West Grove will be a welcome addition to the community and we are pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity in West Grove, just as we have done in other urban centers in the County.  CRP funds help to improve the public health and safety of our communities, and over the years they have also helped to increase the taxable assessments of our urban centers.”

Avondale Borough is receiving $535,384 to improve its water system, including an updated filtration system. Honey Brook will use a $184,305 grant to rehabilitate its curbs and sidewalks, making them ADA compliant, as well as storm water improvements and street paving repair.

“Chester County has wonderful, historic communities that must be maintained through infrastructure updates,” said Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell. “The funds provided through the Community Revitalization Program are often spent on improvements that aren’t always obvious, but that help to build a better foundation for the urban centers.  The grants also help to leverage millions of dollars more in investment.”

Downingtown is receiving $47,715 for upgrading lighting in the borough’s library and Kerr Park parking lots.  Phoenixville is using its award of $415,513 for a waterline replacement project on Starr Street from Washington Avenue to Third Avenue. The water main on Second Avenue from Nutt Road to Gay Street will also be replaced.

Since the Community Revitalization Program began in 2002, Chester County has awarded more than $65 million in Community Revitalization Program and Community Development Block Grant program grants to the sixteen urban centers (City of Coatesville and the 15 Boroughs) for infrastructure improvements, according to Pat Bokovitz, director of Chester County Department of Community Development.

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