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BRIEFLY: PA provides $600,000 boost to local fight against blight

Local municipalities with projects to fight blight and stabilize communities will receive more than $600,000 in grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to fund the efforts.

Of the latest statewide funding roll-out, the CharWest Council of Governments (COG) is set to receive $200,000, McKees Rocks will receive $300,000 and Stowe Township, $110,000.

“Many of our older communities are plagued with abandoned properties that have become unsightly and unsafe,” Sen. Wayne Fontana said in a release. “This blight creates a barrier to new investment and new residents, so the grants are an investment in a better future.”

Stowe Township will receive $110,000 to demolish seven properties. The money will go toward engineering and demolition costs.

McKees Rocks was approved for a grant of $300,000 to acquire and rehabilitate a property in the borough as part of a plan to restore 10 properties for low-cost housing.

The money will be used for acquisition, engineering and infrastructure work.

The Char-West Council of Governments’ plan to demolish 12 properties in 10 different municipalities was awarded $200,000 for the demolition, asbestos abatement and legal costs.

“Everyone knows the damaging effect that blight has on public safety, property values and a community’s desirability as a place for families to live and businesses to invest. This state aid will help eliminate those negatives and turn our comeback tide in an even more positive direction,” State Rep. Anita Kulik said.


Business manager steps down

Sto-Rox Business Manager Kimberley Puskarich has resigned after little more than a year with the district.

The school board approved her resignation during a special meeting held June 3, where they also approved the hiring of Paul Sroka as her replacement.

The board neither discussed Puskarich’s reasons for resigning nor elaborated on Sroka’s candidacy during the meeting.

In the weeks leading up to the passage of the preliminary budget on May 20, some directors voiced frustration that Puskarich had not presented it to them for review sooner.

Puskarich began working for the district in early 2020.


Caliente coming to Sharp Edge spot

The owners of Caliente Pizza and Drafthouse have signed a deal taking over the former Sharp Edge Creekhouse on the Pittsburgh-Crafton border, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.

According to the report, the Crafton restaurant came as part of a deal that included the Sharp Edge location in Sewickley, which up till now has remained open to business. The sales are expected to finalize in the coming months, subject to liquor license transfers.

With views overlooking Chartiers Creek, the two-story Victorian-era restaurant building has been vacant since the location closed in January 2019, ostensibly on account of declining sales.

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