Federal Dollars Being Used For Beautification

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MAHANOY CITY -- Before the federal shutdown, a community in Schuylkill County received over $1 million.

It's being used in sprucing up two blocks of downtown Mahanoy City. Workers first cut along the sidewalk.

"We will be demoing all the asphalt and be replacing all the sidewalks in town," said Randy Lasher of Heim Construction.

The project, paid for with federal money, has more than just new places for pedestrians to walk.

"Decorative lighting, benches, trees to beautify the downtown," said borough manager Dan Lynch.  "$1,025,000 is what we got and that allows us to get a substantial amount of work done."

Upna Rani owns a convenience store. She's excited about the new look that's coming.

"I have been waiting a couple years. I am so glad!  They come to make new pavement, I am so happy."

But the construction will cause some problems.

"When they first told us they were doing it, some of our patients require wheelchairs, walkers, they will have to enter in the side entrance," explained Bob Murphy at Saint Luke's Therapy Center. :It'll be an inconvenience but once they get it done, when it's all said and done, it will make the town look a lot better."

Joe McCullough, 83, wonders if Mahanoy City will ever be the same as when he was growing up.

"We had Heir's Brewery. We had three shirt factories in town and a dress factory," McCullough said.

Borough officials say the contractor has until May of next year to finish both sides of the street.