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Revitalizing Hazleton One Grant at a Time

HAZLETON -- There may be a lot of changes coming to one city in Luzerne County.

Hazleton has been awarded millions of dollars to renovate its downtown area and improve its police department.

The city hopes to get even more money. The city is applying for more than $1 million in state gaming money to try to renovate Alter Street, one of its business districts. It wants to redo the street, the sidewalks, and some of the storefront facades.

"There are many grants out there, and they are available for cities for purposes like this," Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat said.

The mayor should know. In the past two months, the city has received more than $3 million in grant money to renovate several buildings on Broad Street and revive that area.

The city's police department has also been awarded more than $1 million for new technologies and more manpower to curb crime.

"We've been aggressively pursuing every option we have. I reached out to everybody I know that could write a grant, asked them to submit some type of grant for us. Everybody has their own expertise in which grant to write for, so I have been going to everyone I can and asking can you help us out," said Cusat.

The mayor and organizations applying for grants have a vision that a facelift to areas of the city will translate into this place being more appealing to businesses, thus sparking economic growth and jobs.

"We want people to come to Hazleton and open up businesses here, live here, work here. There are a lot of positive things happening in Hazleton. This is the next area that I would like to start working on," Cusat said.

People already living in the area hope all the money coming to Hazleton does change the city for the better.

"Hopefully it will keep going the way it's been going and not turn around and deteriorate again," said George Mazur of Hazleton.

"We are all hoping for the better," said Nick Rossi of Hazleton.

The city should find out in the spring if it will get the state gaming money to begin the revitalization project on Alter Street.

3 comments

  • Joe Riccardo, former Resident of Hazleton and Concerned Citizen.

    Jeff Cusat is an IDIOT! … Lou Barletta was the LAST DECENT Mayor Hazleton had. He’s now in D.C. and Hazleton residents are left with bitter dregs of Barletta “wannabes…” – Cusat is as useless as Yannuzzi was. They had a chance to revitalize Hazleton, but former Rep Kanjorski put such fear in the older residents of Hazleton, that no one wanted to create a regional freight hub airport in the Humboldt area. The area was PERFECT to bring in airplanes and freight. The area would also support light rail for Hazleton and surrounding areas. Once the elderly were turned off, the plan was scrapped. People need a vision in order to revitalize Hazleton. That airport WAS a perfect VISION. Now, Cusat is turning to grant monies that, even IF he gets them, they’ll dry up eventually with no lasting benefit to come of them. Progress means “moving forward.” I have the “VISION” for Hazleton if anyone is willing to help me PUSH IT forward to make something happen. If that airport is rejected yet again, the whole Hazleton area will eventually become more of a dumping ground for illegals, drugs and crime. Something needs to change if if the elderly do not see that, perhaps raising their property taxes and kicking them out of their homes will force them to see that change MUST come, and if it doesn’t they’ll lose their properties and change will move on without them!

  • Joe Klecko from Dupont

    more government money wisely spent. A definite hot spot for tourists once the money is spent. The best thing going in that town is LA Tarone. Have to hand it to LA for living there. How about some grant money for the hardest working man in Hazleton, LA Tarone?! Stay safe,LA. NEPA needs your voice and views on the air !

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