Millions of dollars that go into casino slot machines in the Poconos found their way into the proverbial pockets of local municipalities Tuesday.
The state organization that doles out casino money announced which local projects will receive those funds, and how much.
Many of the projects that will benefit are in Lackawanna County.
Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said a lot of money has been poured into the downtown over the last few years, and the improvements are obvious. But, he says there’s one building that’s holding the rest of them back.
“That Masonic Temple building really is the eyesore that still stands out, you can’t shine up downtown anymore than it already is at this point and still have this issue out there. We needed to find a way, and thankfully we came through with some money on this,” Taylor said.
Carbondale is one of close to 30 municipalities and organizations in the northeast that received casino revenue to tackle projects that have long been on a “wish list”.
Mayor Taylor says Carbondale’s $275,000 grant will go toward tearing down the old Masonic Temple on Salem Avenue and improving other facades downtown.
“We had a lot of contractors and other people look at it and the price quotes were just way beyond the city’s resources. The only way, unfortunately, to get it down was grant funding and that’s why its sat for so long,” added Taylor.
Dunmore received $325,000 to improve the fire department building.
The City of Scranton received a chunk of change to tackle two projects. The organization looking to repurpose the Scranton Lace Factory received $440,000. City leaders received $500,000 to pave streets downtown and in several neighborhoods.
“You can only pave with block grant money or out of your operating budget. And when you use block grant money, you can only go to certain neighborhoods. With this grant we can go everywhere and it’s very helpful to us,” said Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty.
Mayor Doherty says the casino money will cover the cost of paving more than 20 streets in the electric city.
You can find a complete list grants, here.