LSA working in the Valley


To the Editor:

Over the past week, the Mon Valley Independent provided excellent coverage of two important stories that demonstrated the continued economic impact Washington County’s Local Share Account Program (LSA) is having on the Mon Valley. The first, “Donora Library set for expansion,” that appeared Jan. 26 reported on the library’s efforts to rebrand itself and expand to house the Donora Smog Museum. This project received a $250,000 LSA grant from the Washington County Commissioners late last year. The second article, “Alta Vista activity to start soon,” which was published on Feb. 2, highlighted several new companies locating to Alta Vista Business Park in Fallowfield Township. The companies locating to the park over the next year — Nine Energy Services, Frontier Railroad and Apex International — will create hundreds of jobs, expand the tax base of the township and focus attention on the business park to attract additional companies. These projects in Alta Vista are a direct result of the Mon Valley Alliance’s tireless efforts to secure approximately $3.3 million in LSA funds to prepare the business park’s infrastructure for these job creation opportunities. As your readers are aware, the LSA program was created by the state legislature to fund economic, infrastructure and community development projects through gaming revenues generated by casinos in counties hosting them. Since the creation of the LSA program a decade ago, Washington County Commissioners Larry Maggi, Diana Irey Vaughan and Harlan Shober have awarded nearly $100 million in LSA monies to economic and community projects across Washington County. However, what is truly exciting is that Mon Valley communities and organizations have received close to $30 million (about one third) of that $100 million for projects important to the Valley. In addition to Donora Library and Alta Vista Business Park, the LSA program has provided funding for such projects as the Aquatorium, Main Street facade programs in Monongahela and Charleroi as well as senior centers, countless water and sewage improvements, community parks and playgrounds, boat launches along the river and other quality of life assets across the entire Mon Valley. Washington County works because we work together and the LSA program has been particularly effective in the Mon Valley because communities and organizations in the Valley demonstrate that partnership — that working together — every day. Let’s keep those partnerships and those opportunities moving forward with the LSA Program. Jeff Kotula


Washington County Chamber of Commerce