Townships and boroughs throughout Lower Bucks County are receiving millions of dollars as part of the Municipal Grant Program through the Bucks Redevelopment Authority.
$3.7 million will go towards hard costs like improving roadways, public buildings, and miscellaneous equipment and technology upgrades. A large portion of the funds will also go towards public safety including police, fire and medical response teams.
“You have to be very careful with that amount of money, so we want to make sure all of these requests are legitimate,” Redevelopment Authority Board Chairman Sean Schafer said. “One of the things we don’t fund are soft costs. We don’t fund administrative, engineering, or anything like that. We actually fund the cost for the material, labor, and what goes into creating a project.”
The funding comes from Parx Casino to off set any potential cost the gambling staple of Lower Bucks might bring to its surrounding area. Schafer joined WBCB 1490 for Speak Your Piece Tuesday and said the program was first implemented to alleviate concerns of Bensalem turning in Atlantic City, NJ.
“There were a lot of organizations and groups concerned the sky was falling, crime and murder would be up, and that hasn’t happened,” Schafer said. “But a lot of the reason that hasn’t happened is because of programs like this.”
This year, more municipalities were allowed to apply for the funding thanks to a change in gaming law brought about by State Senator Tommy Tomlinson. Bristol Borough, Penndel Borough, Langhorne Borough applied directly for funding to meet their needs.
For the application process, each municipality must submit a list of needs in order of importance. This ensures that even though the BCRDA received $6.7 million in requests, the most pressing issues are addressed thoroughly.
“Applications presented by the municipalities represented a wide range of projects and I am pleased that we can help these communities with projects that address infrastructure, safety and quality of life issues for families in our Lower Bucks County community”, said Schafer in a press release.
The Municipal Grant Program was first created in 2008 and has dished out more than $40 million in grants so far.