I was very disheartened on Friday when six Supreme Court Justices disregarded 50 years of precedent and overturned Roe v. Wade. While a majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose, this is still a very divisive issue, and over the years I’ve spoken with constituents from all walks of life to get a sense of how they feel about it and why. Most people feel women should be able to make this decision for themselves, but when speaking with constituents who agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the answer I hear most often is “I’m pro-life.”
An issue as complex as this is more nuanced than “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” though, and reducing it to those simplistic terms allows one to take the moral high ground without fully considering how it affects women and, in some cases, young girls. Nobody wants to get an abortion. There are a number of cases, though, where it truly is the only way out of a tragic and potentially fatal situation.
If your reaction to this decision is a vague “I’m pro-life,” I beg you to consider the implications of this decision. Think of the woman for whom a pregnancy could be fatal. Think of the woman who is raped and is forced to carry out that pregnancy, forever reminded of the most traumatic experience of her life. Think of a teenage incest victim, too young to see an R-rated movie without parental supervision but forced to become a parent herself.
I’ve heard people say, “We take care of those young mothers and children.” The sad truth is that we don’t. We’re the only developed country in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternal leave on a national level. Moreover, far too many women in America die during childbirth; our maternal mortality rate is far higher than most developed nations’. There are fewer options available for expectant mothers than you might think.
I respect everyone’s religious beliefs, but we can’t make judicial rulings based on them. I believe in the importance of the separation of the church and state. I don’t believe we should be passing legislation based on theology; we are a nation of many different religions, creeds, and beliefs.
When you argue that this is an issue that should be left up to the states to decide, you are saying that women are incapable of making decisions for themselves and that they are not to be trusted with their own bodies. This is about control, and this is about power, and it won’t end here. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that with this ruling, the legality of contraception, gay rights, and same-sex marriage should all be reconsidered. This decision opens the doors for them to further take away the rights of millions of Americans.
If you agree with me that women should be able to consult their doctor, their family, and their religious leader before making this very personal choice; if you agree that disregarding long-held precedent and overturning Roe v. Wade was a bad decision; if you agree that abortion must be available to, at the very least, save the life of the mother, or in instances of rape or incest, then it is very important for you to know that seven states and counting have already made abortion illegal regardless of the circumstances. If you think that can’t happen here in Pennsylvania, the Republican nominee for governor has vowed to ban abortion even if giving birth would result in the mother’s death.
I fear a future where women no longer have control over their privacy, their body, or their medical decisions. I do not want my daughter to grow up in a world where she has fewer rights than a man. I do not want a future where a scared teenage girl goes to jail after seeking an abortion. What would prevent overzealous prosecutors from seeking search warrants for women who they believe may have had an abortion, by retrieving phone records, text messages, search histories, medical records – any means necessary. Is this America? If abortion becomes illegal in Pennsylvania, young women will be considered criminals, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I will do everything I can to stop this legislation from becoming a reality in Pennsylvania.
There is a reason Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito misled the United States Senate and the American people during their confirmation hearings when they said Roe v. Wade was settled and that they respected precedent. They know how unpopular and hypocritical this decision is. This was pure politics, plain and simple. The sole purpose of the Federalist Society – of which they were members, and who recommended them to Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate – was to reverse Roe v. Wade, PERIOD. Even so, they decided to lie under oath, because they knew it was the only way they’d be allowed to serve on the Supreme Court.
Still, what’s done is sadly done. We have to look forward. The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines here, and I will do everything I can to help defend a woman’s right to choose in the Pennsylvania legislature. I have to do what’s right for my constituents, for the women and girls of the 22nd District. For that reason, this egregious action by the Supreme Court must be fought at every level of the Pennsylvania government – by the state Senate, the state House of Representatives, and the Governor.
Senator Marty Flynn
Harrisburg, PA – June 10, 2022 – Senator Marty Flynn today announced $9,603,542 in state funding to be granted to Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Monroe Counties to support community projects and equipment purchases. The grants were awarded in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Local Share Account (LSA) program.
“I’m incredibly proud of the wide variety of projects we were able to accommodate with these LSA grants,” Senator Flynn said. “Every single one of them was submitted and approved with one goal in mind – to make NEPA a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family. I’m confident we achieved that goal.”
The following projects have been approved to receive LSA program funds:
- Archbald Borough – Archbald Borough Veterans Monument Park Project Phase III – Lackawanna – The project will consist of constructing a monument wall for the borough’s veterans along with ADA accessibility. – $162,685.00
- Carbondale City – Multiuse Tractor Purchase – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for the purchase of a new tractor. – $33,954.00
- Dalton Borough – Purchase of Police Vehicle – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for the purchase of a new police vehicle. – $41,280.00
- Dalton Borough – Trailer Mounted Sewer Jet Machine Purchase – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Dalton Sewer Authority, for the purchase of a trailer mounted sewer jet machine. – $89,952.00
- Greenfield Township – Patrol Vehicle Upgrade – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to purchase two patrol vehicles. – $40,000.00
- Jefferson Township – Jefferson Township Police Station – Lackawanna – LSA funds will be used for the construction of a police station within a vacant building. – $103,897.00
- Jefferson Township – Jefferson Township Sewer Authority Pump Repair and Maintenance Building – Lackawanna – LSA funds are requested for the design and construction of a pump repair and maintenance building. – $80,000.00
- Jermyn Borough – DPW Building – Lackawanna – LSA funds will be used to install a concrete floor in the DPW building where a dirt floor currently exists. – $20,000.00
- La Plume Township – La Plume Township Municipal Paving Project – Phase II – Lackawanna Funds are requested to pave approximately 4,638 feet of College Road and to refurbish 1,975 feet of guide rail along College Road. – $172,636.00
- Lackawanna County – Abington Little League Equipment/Pole Barn – Lackawanna – LSA funds are requested for the construction of a 40X40 pole barn with concrete pad and associated electrical wiring. – $37,343.00
- Lackawanna County – American Legion #411 Jessup Michael Steiner Post Roof Repair/Replacement – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for the full replacement of the Jessup American Legion #411 roof. – $73,794.00
- Lackawanna County – Connell Park Little League Field Equipment Phase 2 – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for the purchase of an infield groomer, sock-net, score board and the insulation and coating of the exterior batting cage building. – $44,411.00
- Lackawanna County – Covington Volunteer Fire Company Furnace Upgrade – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Covington Independent Volunteer Fire Company, for furnace upgrades. – $30,975.00
- Lackawanna County – Deutsch Institute Applied Research Centers for the Handicapped-Robinson Park Renovations – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of The Deutsch Institute, for renovations to a building located on 98 Mountain Lake Road in Scranton. – $100,000.00
- Lackawanna County – Dunmore Missy League Field Renovations -Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of Dunmore Missy Softball League, for field renovation, install new fencing, demolition, and reconstruction of all dugouts with grass removal and sod upgrades. – $95,659.00
- Lackawanna County – Fellowship House Renovation Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Fellowship House Foundation, for building renovations to a blighted building at the intersection of Sanderson Avenue and Green Ridge Street in Scranton. – $200,000.00
- Lackawanna County – Hospice of the Sacred Heart Inpatient Unit Revitalization – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to revitalize the inpatient unit at the Hospice of Sacred Heart. – $60,000.00
- Lackawanna County – Jessup Hose Company #2 SCBA Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested on behalf of Jessup Hose Company #2 for the purchase of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment. – $65,000.00
- Lackawanna County – Meredith Hose – Fire station Expansion Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Meredith Hose Company, to expand their fire station by adding an additional building to house their emergency response vehicles. – $147,699.00
- Lackawanna County – Mid Valley Elementary School Field Improvements – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of Mid-Valley School District, for the purchase and installation of synthetic turf for the athletic field at the elementary campus. – $28,660.00
- Lackawanna County – Minooka Athletic Association Tractor and Clubhouse Repairs – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for field house renovations and the purchase of a tractor/field groomer. – $33,499.00
- Lackawanna County – North Pocono Dandy Lion Little League – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for bathroom renovations at Aston and Dandy Lion field and baseball field renovations at Aston field in Roaring Brook Township. – $50,298.00
- Lackawanna County – North Scranton Little League Field Improvements – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the North Scranton Little League, for renovations of the North Scranton Little League complex. – $75,000.00
- Lackawanna County – South Scranton Little League Lighting Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the South Scranton Little League, for the renovation of the South Scranton Little League complex to include the installation of lighting. – $65,000.00
- Lackawanna County – VFW Theodore Wint Post #25 Scranton – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #25, for the next phase of renovations to their facility to include the installation of a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen with appliance purchase and installation, construction of two handicap accessible bathrooms, and finish the remaining building renovations. – $154,100.00
- Lackawanna County – Victor Alfieri Roof Repair/Replacement – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of Victor Alfieri Literary Society, to replace the Society’s roof. – $70,000.00
- Lackawanna County – Willow House Foundation – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Valley Lodge, LLC, for the renovations of the Willow House. – $100,000.00
- Mayfield Borough – Mayfield Borough Municipal Garage Construction Phase 2 – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for the installation of a concrete floor for the Borough Municipal Garage. – $20,000.00
- Moosic Borough – Moosic Borough Flood Control Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to spray to eliminate the knotweed invasive species and eliminate sediment that has reduced the carrying capacity of the Spring Brook. – $58,000.00
- Moosic Borough – Moosic Borough Public Safety Headquarter – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to construct a new public safety building that will house the fire and police departments. – $100,000.00
- Moscow Borough – Church Street Sanitary Sewer Extension Construction Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Moscow Sewer Authority and Army Corps of Engineers, for the design and construction of a sanitary sewer extension along Church Street located in Moscow Borough. – $150,336.00
- Moscow Borough – L&WV Station Floor Replacement – Lackawanna – Funds are requested on behalf of Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society Inc, to replace and insulate the deteriorating rail passenger station floor located in Moscow Borough. – $24,850.00
- Moscow Borough – Moscow Borough/Roaring Brook Township Brush Bandit (Woodchipper) – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to purchase a brush bandit to be shared by Moscow Borough and Roaring Brook Township to enable the municipalities to maintain the trees and shrubs and continue their yard waste services within the communities. – $58,087.00
- North Abington Township – North Abington Township Municipal Paving Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to repair and pave Sullivan Road, including widening the road to a standard width of 18 feet. – $152,687.00
- Old Forge Borough – Body Cameras and Mobile Video Records – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to purchase body cameras and in-car camera systems for use by the police department. – $85,539.00
- Scranton City – City Hall’s Enhancing Instruments of Communication – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for upgrades to City Hall’s sound equipment located in the City of Scranton. – $50,000.00
- Scranton City – Nay Aug Park Playground Improvements Project – Lackawanna – Funds are requested in partnership with the Scranton Municipal Recreation Authority for the Nay Aug Park playground improvements project. -$200,000.00
- Scranton City – Newave Cultural Community Hub Building Renovations – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of Newave Enterprise, to renovate a building and pave a parking lot located on Jackson Street. – $50,000.00
- Scranton City – NWNEP Feasibility Study for Luzerne Street Blighted Properties – Lackawanna – The project will conduct a feasibility study, addressing site reuse of five properties located in the 1100 block of Luzerne Street. Following the completion of the feasibility study, an RFP will be completed along with architectural renderings of the proposed project. – $25,000.00
- Scranton City – Portable Theatre Equipment for Inclusion and Accessibility – Lackawanna – Funds are requested, on behalf of The Scranton Fringe, for new equipment to support their event programs located in the City of Scranton. – $40,000.00
- Scranton City – Roof Repairs at Albright Memorial Library – Lackawanna Funds are requested, on behalf of The Albright Memorial Library, for roof repairs. – $100,000.00
- Scranton City – Security Equipment and Upgrades for Scranton Cultural Center (SCC) – Lackawanna – Funds are requested on behalf of the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple for interior renovation, public safety upgrades and for the purchase of equipment and supplies for the Cultural Center. The project includes repair of the stage floors, purchase new drapery system, install infant changing tables, hands-free faucet sets and for the purchase and installation of an enhanced communication system with radios and a new LED lighting package for the stage. – $100,000.00
- Scranton City – U of S Cyber Forensics and Cybersecurity Lab Equipment – Lackawanna – Funds are requested to develop a forensic cybersecurity crime lab to support academic programs at the University of Scranton. – $125,920.00
- Spring Brook Township – Wheel Loader Project – Lackawanna – Funds are being requested for the purchase of a wheel loader. – $207,000.00
- Throop Borough – Civic Center Park & Parking Lot Design & Improvements – Lackawanna – Funds are requested for survey, design, and bidding materials that will result in additional outdoor recreational possibilities. – $72,950.00
- Avoca Borough – Street Improvements Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for a roadway rehabilitation project. – $150,000.00
- Avoca Borough – New Dump Truck – Luzerne – Funds are requested for the purchase of a new dump truck. – $103,155
- Dupont Borough – Building Improvements – Luzerne – Funds are requested, on behalf of Dupont Volunteer Hose Company #1, to renovate the roof and HVAC system at the firehouse. – $92,000.00
- Dupont Borough – Memorial Park Enhancement Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested to demolish two existing basketball courts and construct a new court and a pocket park with amenities in its place. – $239,000.00
- Duryea Borough – Excelsior Building Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Excelsior Hose Company, for upgrades to the Excelsior building. – $559,076.00
- Duryea Borough – Healey Playground Upgrade – Luzerne – LSA funds are requested for renovations to Healey Playground. New equipment will be installed along with a new pavilion that includes upgraded lighting and electricity. – $175,000.00
- Jenkins Township – Police Improvements to Ensure a Safer Community – Luzerne – Jenkins Township is requesting LSA funding to complete a public improvement project. The public improvement consists of purchasing and outfitting a police vehicle, purchasing a license plate reader, and updating computer software. The public improvements will occur at the Jenkins Township Police Station. – $70,000
- Jenkins Township – Municipal Vehicle and Equipment Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for a new municipal vehicle with upfitting along with the purchase of power equipment and supplies. The township is seeking funding for a municipal work truck, trailer, pressure washer and a zero-turn lawn mower/bagger/mulcher. – $140,822
- Jenkins Township – Spadi Park Improvements Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for Spadi Park improvements. This project involves the construction of a pavilion with a fully operational kitchen and an ADA-compliant restroom facilities with additional parking added to the site. – $80,000
- Jenkins Township – Township Municipal Office Upgrades – Luzerne – Funds are requested to purchase office equipment including new desktop computers, monitors, and a letter folding machine. – $10,666
- Laflin Borough – Laflin Road Paving Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for a roadway rehabilitation project. – $175,000
- Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority – Commerce Road Rail Crossing Upgrade – Luzerne – Funds are requested to replace the existing concrete crossing on Commerce Road at Milepost 2.77 on the Suscon Industrial Line. – $122,002.00
- Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority – River Road Rail Crossing Upgrade (Jenkins Township) – Luzerne – Funds are requested to replace the existing concrete crossing on River Road at Milepost 7.41 on the Wilkes-Barre Secondary Line. – $193,690
- Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority – Allied Services Center City Skilled Nursing Center (Wilkes Barre) – Luzerne – Funds requested will be used, on behalf of Allied Services Center City Skilled Nursing, for the conversion of the 3rd and 4th floors of a building into a dual licensed Medicare/Medicaid skilled nursing facility. – $175,000
- Pittston City – Pittston YMCA ADA Locker Rooms – Luzerne – Funds are requested to construct locker rooms at the Greater Pittston YMCA. The planned project includes demolition of the existing locker room space, renovations to include new floor and wall tile, new lighting, plumbing fixtures, and ADA-compliant amenities including access doors, toilet room outfitting, and lockers. – $175,000
- Pittston City – Former First Presbyterian Church Building Repairs – Luzerne – Funds are requested for building stabilization at the former First Presbyterian Church, which includes roof replacement, ceiling replacement, masonry repairs, and floor repairs. – $40,000
- Pittston City – Pittston Tomato Festival Stage – Luzerne – Funds are requested for improving a festival stage, which includes adding a permanent cover and installing lights and sound. – $200,000
- Pittston Township – Equipment and Vehicle Purchase – Luzerne – Funds are requested to purchase vehicles and equipment for use by the township’s police, public works, and emergency management departments. – $428,515.00
- West Pittston Borough – Fire Rescue Apparatus Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for the purchase of a new Fire Rescue Apparatus and updated Cascade Air System for the West Pittston Borough Fire Department. – $671,275
- West Pittston Borough – New Library Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested for interior and exterior renovations of an existing building which will serve as a community library. – $150,000
- West Pittston Borough – New Skid Steer Loader – Luzerne – Funds requested will be used for the purchase of a new skid steer loader. – $61,882
- West Pittston Borough – Road and Parking Lot Improvements Project -Luzerne – Funds are requested for parking lot improvements and paving of roads. – $80,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA Facility Locker Rooms Transformation – Luzerne – LSA funds are requested for the rehabilitation of the YMCA facility in Wilkes-Barre City. Renovations will include a transformation of the locker room, a whirlpool, steam room, and a massage and lounge area. – $175,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – Wilkes University Cannabis Certificate Program & Mass Spectrometer & CO2 Extractor Purchase Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested, on behalf of the Wilkes University, for equipment for a Cannabis Certification Program. – $175,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – F.M. Kirby Center HVAC Improvements & Facade Stabilization – Luzerne – Funds are requested, on behalf of the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, to assist with HVAC system upgrades and a façade stabilization at the Kirby Center. – $160,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – City Hall Renovations Phase II – Luzerne – Funds are requested for interior and exterior renovations to the existing City Hall building. – $200,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – Public Works Facility Upgrades – Luzerne – Funds are requested for renovations to the city-owned DPW building. – $175,000
- Wilkes-Barre City – Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) New Transit Facility Phase II – Luzerne – Funds are requested, on behalf of Luzerne County Transportation Authority, for the construction of a centralized transit facility in the City. – $175,000
- Wyoming Borough – Wyoming Area Regional Police Force Commission Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested on behalf of the Wyoming Area Regional Police Force to help convert individual municipal police forces into one regional force by purchasing equipment and purchasing a new building. – $250,000
- Wyoming Borough – Street Reconstruction & ADA Curb Ramp Enhancement – Luzerne – Funds are requested roadway improvements along 2nd Street from Wyoming Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue, 3rd Street from Monument Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue, and 9th Street from Wyoming Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue. – $250,000
- Yatesville Borough – Road and Parking Lot Improvements Project – Luzerne – Funds are requested to re-surface and provide drainage improvements to a parking lot adjacent to the borough’s administration building. – $175,000
- Monroe County Industrial Development Authority – Pocono Hemlock Civic Association Road Repairs – Monroe – Funds are requested on behalf of the Pocono Hemlock Civic Association (PHCA) to repair the roads within the Pocono Hemlock Development. – $117,495.00
- Monroe County Industrial Development Authority – Waste Not Technologies- Loading Dock & Outside Storage Addition – Monroe – Funds are requested, on behalf of Waste Not Technologies, for a facility expansion and purchase of equipment. – $183,233.00
- Mount Pocono Borough – Borough Maintenance – Monroe – Funds are requested for the demolition and construction of a 4,400 SF borough maintenance garage with parking area and security fencing. – $196,590.00
- Tobyhanna Township – Tobyhanna Township Stillwater Estates – Monroe – Funds are requested for land easement costs associated with the construction of a new roadway entrance of the Stillwater Estates community. – $277,800.00
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established the Local Share Account (LSA) program to distribute a portion of slot machine license operation fees from Category 1 or 2 facilities operating within the Commonwealth. Funds are available for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, community improvement, and other projects in the public interest.
As required under Act 71 (the Gaming Act), DCED and the CFA have developed program guidelines to distribute Local Share Account (LSA) funds generated in Pennsylvania. The PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Act 2004-71) provides for the distribution of gaming revenues through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) to support projects in the public interest within the Commonwealth.
JUNE 8, 2022 – HARRISBURG – Today, Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) announced $2,003,461 in state funding through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to be awarded to Pennsylvania’s 22nd Senatorial District.
“I’m very happy that the PCCD made this sizable and necessary investment in Northeast Pennsylvania. This funding will be used in a variety of areas – mental health resources, child advocacy centers, treatment programs, and more,” Senator Flynn said, “all with the express purpose of addressing some of the most important issues facing our communities.”
The grant applications were submitted to and reviewed by the PCCD’s Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee (CACAC), which advises the Commission on the development and promotion of programs and projects related to children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary investigative teams; the County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee (CAPPAC), which serves in an advisory capacity to the PCCD and develops funding plans for county adult probation and parole departments; and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC), the official juvenile justice planning, coordinating, and policy-setting body for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The grants awarded to Senator Flynn’s district are:
CACAC Endowment Act Funds
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania (for medical services for child abuse victims in NEPA) – $99,995
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania (for medical services for child victims of sexual abuse) – $99,995
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania (CAC/NEPA Project Safe and Smart) – $258,201
- Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center (Intake Coordinator position) – $99,962
CAPPAC 2022-2023 Intermediate Punishment Treatment Funds
- Lackawanna County Commissioners (for 2022-2033 Intermediate Punishment Treatment programs) – $419,996
- Luzerne County Chief Executive Officer (for Luzerne County IP Treatment Program) – $135,000
CAPPAC County Adult Probation and Parole Funds
- Lackawanna County – $255,352
- Luzerne County – $314,160
- Monroe County – $170,800
JJDPC State Violence and Delinquency Prevention Funds
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania (for mental health services for youth in NEPA) – $150,000
The PCCD provides leadership in system-wide coordination and in building collaboration among public servants and private citizens representing all aspects of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and victim services by initiating and financially supporting justice-related programs put forth by practitioners and experts in the justice system.
Scranton, PA – April 22, 2022 – Today, Senator Marty Flynn announced seven Lackawanna County projects that received a total of $9.15 million in funding through grants from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth grant program for the acquisition and construction of economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
“Each of these projects will improve Northeast Pennsylvania in a unique way,” Senator Flynn said, “but they all share the same thing in common – they’re geared towards building a better future. It’s incredibly important that we invest in education, that we bring jobs to the district, and that we look out for local businesses. With this state funding, we’re checking all of those boxes.”
The county projects that received funding are:
- 517 Bogart Project II – Slocum Hollow (Scranton) – $1,000,000 – The project will renovate three historically significant vacant commercial buildings into a vibrant commercial hub of restaurants, commercial establishments, outdoor space, rooftop venue, and residential space. The project will renovate 30,000 square feet of interior space to be developed with over fifty percent commercial use.
- Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency – Pre-K Center Phase 2 (Scranton) – $500,000 – The project, Phase II, will renovate and build out the Pre-K Center. This includes building envelope, expanding classroom capacity, safety measures, HVAC, and electrical. Once closing and deed recording takes place, formal documentation will be provided. It will address the immediate need for expanded classroom capacity and assist essential workers with educational daycare offerings.
- Triboro Industrial Park Development (Olyphant) – $3,000,000 – The project represents the first phase in a two-phase endeavor to develop this strategically located property. This phase focuses on preparing the eastern portion of the property for surface and building improvements, and will involve activities such as earthwork/excavation, clearing, utility relocation, mine mitigation, erosion and sedimentation control, and storm water ponds preparation.
- Aim Higher Program at Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton) – $750,000 – Project will renovate Scranton Prep for a suitable learning space, including: Exterior Repointing and Miscellaneous Repairs, Resurfacing and/or Replacing Gymnasium Floors, First floor Computer Lab Room Upgrades, Fourth Floor HVAC and Lighting, Fourth Floor Classroom and Office Upgrades, Professional Services -Architectural, HVAC, Electrical, Construction Management.
- Glenmontage Commercial Development (Moosic) – $2,000,000 – As part of the Lackawanna County community revitalization effort, the Glenmontage Commercial Development Project involves the property acquisition of an existing improved commercial property and new construction of a 30,000 square-foot two-story office building. The site will include new parking of approximately 240 parking spots, associated landscaping, and underground stormwater retainage. The existing and new buildings will house many tenants.
- Keystone College Living Learning Educational Complex (La Plume) – $1,000,000 – Keystone College will construct a new 25,000 square foot Educational Facility that will feature new multi-focus educational center incorporating the Keystone College Oppenheim Children’s Center, an early childhood education provider; relocating the DePaul School, a private education institution, that provides a well-structured system of programs aimed at maximizing abilities and compensating for a students’ disabilities providing them with the skills necessary to succeed academically; and Keystone College Education Department into a new construction 25,000 square foot facility which will include lecture hall, curriculum labs, and virtual educational training lab.
- Maternal Health and Family Services (Scranton) – $900,000 – The project will renovate and fit out of a former retail space into a clinical and administrative site in order to expand and relocate MFHS’s Circle of Care clinic to a first-floor location at the Marketplace at Steamtown. The additional space will be used to expand capacity to deliver programs.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, RACP grants focus on projects that have a wide regional impact and generate substantial increases of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.
Scranton, PA – April 8, 2022 – Senator Marty Flynn has released a statement regarding the Scranton School District’s bus contract bidding process:
“What should have been a simple and public bidding process turned into yet another insult to the Scranton taxpayers because of smoke-filled backroom dealing between Krise Transportation and Scranton School District’s Chief Recovery Officer, Solicitor, and School Board.
I am calling for the immediate resignation of Chief Recovery Officer Dr. Candis Finan and calling on the school board to reconsider their relationship with Solicitor John Audi. Their disregard for the taxpayers of Scranton is evidence that they do not have our best interests at heart. The bus contract bidding fiasco and the $1.8 million I helped procure for the pay roll conversion tax would have saved the taxpayers close to $3 million. It appears every time the Scranton School District puts Dr. Candis Finan and Solicitor John Audi in charge of making decisions on behalf of the students, parents, and faculty, the only people they look out for are themselves.
On December 20th, it became clear based on the court proceedings that Dr. Finan and Mr. Audi negotiated in private about the bus contract and showed total disregard for the bidding process. They instructed business manager Patrick Laffey and School Board President Tara Yanni to sign the school bus contract, knowing full well that the bidding process was faulty.
Moreover, why didn’t they stop the discussions between Krise and the administration once an objection was filed? Why couldn’t the district provide the court with the cost of the Krise contract? This is a complete dereliction of duty.
As a result of what at this point can only be explained by incompetence on the part of the Administration and the School Board, I am asking that they have the Pennsylvania Department of Education step in and oversee the bidding process.
This is just another example of a long pattern of bid rigging that appears to favor personal relationships. This pattern must come to an end. There is no shortage of intelligent, qualified, and decent people in Scranton; why is the district set on listening to the advice of a solicitor and chief recovery officer who have time and again mishandled their jobs and misled the public and the administration?
I’m demanding transparency as to what happened. All emails, text messages, and documents obtained through discovery during the litigation must be made public immediately, so that the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the public have a clear picture of what exactly happened behind the scenes of this failed attempt to rig a bus contract.”