COUNTY—Over $1.4 million in funds from the Monroe County Local Share Account (LSA) grant program were awarded this week to organizations in Wayne County.

The LSA Grant program is funded through gaming revenue under Act 71. Grants may be used for economic development, community development and public interest projects.

As part of the Monroe County LSA, Wayne County shares a funding pool with Carbon, Lackawanna, Monroe, Northampton, and Pike Counties, derived from the Mount Aerie Casino.

Approved projects in Wayne County include:

• $30,000 for equipment purchases in Cherry Ridge Township;

• $46,092 for municipal building improvements in Clinton Township;

• $150,000 for STEM projects in the Wayne Highlands School District;

• $67,000 for a municipal street paving project in Preston Township;

• $300,000 for a new Fire House Construction project for Hamlin Fire & Rescue;

• $40,000 for essential Lifepacs for Cottage Hose Ambulance Compnay;

• $124,731 for the ongoing Newfoundland Food Pantry project.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners received notice of the $124,000 awarded at their business meeting Thursday morning.

Grateful for the award, Commissioner Wendell Kay stated Thursday of the project, “It's a perfect example of how the counties can work together and one of those cases where regionalization actually is a good thing and benefits a lot of our people. We're very excited about this.”

The commissioners will meet with the County Engineer and Township Supervisors to review the project within the week with the hope to award project bids as early as next Thursday's meeting.

The county received $136,000 in prior LSA funding for the project, a 1600-square-foot addition to the Dreher Township Building complete with air-conditioning and handicapped accessibility.

The project is a joint effort between numerous government agencies in Wayne and Pike Counties and the townships in the Newfoundland area.

Currently, the Newfoundland Food Pantry operates out of the Newfoundland Moravian Church on the second Friday of each month.

Speaking on behalf of Hamlin Fire & Rescue, President Ken Claflin, stated, “We're grateful for the grant.”

Claflin explained the current fire house is in a state of disrepair. Having received only half of what they requested, Claflin noted they have some work to do to re-engineer their project plans, but, “We're going to make the most of what they gave us.”

Of the LSA distributions, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th, Luzerne/Pike/Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), stated, “The credit goes to the local officials, organization leaders, and residents who come up with worthy projects in vying for local share funding.

“We will be looking forward to seeing the productive results of these community efforts.”

Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th, Wayne/Susquehanna) also stated of the LSA distributions, “I am pleased that these funds will help provide resources that are an investment in our communities and will offer great return. I want to give a big thank you to my fellow legislators for the team effort. Our constituents benefit the most when we all work together!”

Representative Mike Peifer (R-139th, Wayne/Pike) added, “I am happy to see so many local projects in our area benefit from these grants. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making these funds a reality for our communities.”