Rendell distributes money for upgrades



Grants include $1.75 million for revitalization projects in Sharon.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
SHARON -- Gov. Edward Rendell distributed mock checks totaling more than $12 million for community and industrial projects during a local stop on the governor's economic development tour.
Grants announced Saturday include $10 million for Winner Steel Services Inc. toward the renovation of the former Westinghouse Electric Corp. facility, some of which is already in use by the company.
Rendell said the award is "one of the largest" he is announcing on his economic development tour, which has included recent check presentations in Erie and Clarion. He spoke Saturday in front of a brand-new steel galvanizing line at the Winner plant.
Company expansion
The Winner project is expected to result in the immediate creation of 100 jobs and pave the way for new companies to rent space in the 1-million-square-foot building, officials say.
"We will get this money back in the capital improvements the companies are making, in the jobs that are coming, in the taxes," Rendell said about the corporate grants. "This is a very good investment. It will pay back for us very quickly."
A second mock check, for $347,000, was presented to Technical Precision Inc. for the planned expansion at its Hadley plant. The tool-and-die maker is expected to add 23 jobs as part of the expansion.
Improving aesthetics
The governor also announced two grants for projects intended to beautify and revitalize Sharon.
The state will contribute $1.5 million toward the Downtown Revitalization Project, which proposes new sidewalks, curbs, decorative lighting and other improvements for Shenango Avenue between East State Street and the Penn State University campus. A portion of the money will be used toward building a foot bridge over the Shenango River from the west side of town to the campus.
Another $250,000 was awarded toward rehabilitating the West Hill area, off West State Street near the Ohio border. The plans for the project include demolishing vacant buildings, fixing houses and repairing streets and sidewalks.
"This is indeed a great day for the city of Sharon," Mayor David Ryan told Rendell. "Come back in a couple of years, and all this will have taken place, and we will be ready for some more."
siff@vindy.com

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