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Norristown, PA (May 4, 2017) – The Montgomery County Commissioners announced today that 13 projects in the county will receive Montco 2040 Implementation Grants. The new grants continue an exciting program aimed at implementing the county comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. The program is intended to assist municipalities in making targeted physical improvements that achieve real progress toward the goals of the plan and the plan’s themes of Connected Communities, Sustainable Places, and Vibrant Economy.
Today’s grant awards account for $1,040,000 across 13 municipalities. The county received 21 applications, totaling $2.3 million in requests, from municipalities. Projects were evaluated in terms of impact, county, and local planning consistency, project readiness, and funding attributes by a committee made up of planning commission board members and interdepartmental county staff. Projects were also given heightened consideration when addressing one of three focus categories for 2017: Walk/Bike Montco – Trails, Paths, Sidewalk Connections, and Bike Facilities; Downtown and Community Destination Support; or Revitalization of Office and Business Parks.
“Montgomery County is focused on continuing to build on our success in making the county the best place to live, work, play, and open a business. We achieve these goals by partnering with our local municipalities to create connected communities, sustainable places and a vibrant economy. These grants represent diverse projects that will improve and enhance the high quality of life in the county,” said Dr. Valeria Arkoosh, Chair, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The grant program, initiated in 2016, has awarded more than $2 million to projects in Montgomery County and continues to grow in popularity. Since all of this year’s funds have been awarded in the first round, a potential second round of funding in 2017 will no longer be scheduled.
“We were thrilled with the number of high-quality proposals we received this year. These are important projects that we are happy to be able to support,” said Jody Holton, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission. “These projects represent the planning commission’s focus on collaboration with our local municipalities and will go a long way in helping the county achieve the goals outlined in the Montco 2040 Comprehensive Plan.”
The 13 projects that received grants in 2017 are highlighted below:
Cheltenham – Elkins Park Wayfinding Signage Project
Cheltenham Township will install wayfinding signage in the Elkins Park West and Elkins Park East commercial districts to help direct pedestrians and motorists to various transportation destinations, cultural amenities, and businesses in these two districts. The township has also obtained $1.85 million from the Commonwealth to improve traffic and pedestrian facilities in Elkins Park. All of the work in Elkins Park is a continuation of investment that began in the Glenside area over the previous decade as originally set forth in the township’s commercial district enhancement plan. A public art installation is also anticipated in the near future, although it is not included as a part of this Montco 2040 grant.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $59,778
Horsham – Dresher Road Sidewalks at the Pennsylvania Business Campus Project
Horsham Township will install sidewalks within the public right-of-way along the East side of Dresher Road from New Road to the South side of the property at 537 Dresher Road. These walkways will facilitate pedestrian safety and connections between businesses within the office park, the residential neighborhood to the north, the township’s Lukens Park property, the county’s Power Line Trail, and two SEPTA bus stops. The project will continue implementation of the Horsham Business Parks Master Plan as it addresses the county’s goal of modernizing and adapting older office and business parks to remain competitive.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $93,320
Jenkintown – Pedestrian and Gateway Enhancements Project
Jenkintown Borough will create a distinctive gateway entrance into the borough on Old York Road and Washington Lane. The project will include light post and banner structures, enhanced crosswalks and sidewalks, a rain garden, and a landscaped pedestrian area with transit stop. The thoughtful design incorporates and commemorates a monument to General George Washington’s march down Old York Road in 1777. The project builds off of the borough’s current draft comprehensive plan by addressing pedestrian safety and transit issues while announcing the arrival into Jenkintown’s downtown commercial district.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $73,902
Lansdale – Whites Road Park Streambank Improvements Project
Lansdale Borough will install natural streambank stabilization products and plantings within the park to prevent future erosion as well as provide a more aesthetic appearance. The improvements will enhance the park and help maintain it as a community destination for health and recreation opportunities along with a series of concerts and events throughout the spring and summer. The project supports the township’s open space and comprehensive plans as well as the county’s goals of conserving natural resources, improving stormwater management, and supporting community destinations.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $70,000
Lower Gwynedd – Carriages Trail Connection Project
Lower Gwynedd Township will install a local trail connection and pedestrian bridge between new residential development, an existing townhome development, new commercial development at Spring House, and existing local trails. The project leverages the Carriages at Lower Gwynedd developer’s willingness to fund a pedestrian bridge so that complete connections can be made through adjacent properties and into the robust local trail network in the township. The trail promotes health and multimodal transportation between residential, retail, and public transit land uses.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $40,000
Pottstown – King Street Pedestrian Crossing and Bicycle Project
Pottstown Borough will install a pedestrian crosswalk, median, and bicycle lanes on King Street to facilitate safe crossing from the borough’s Memorial Park to tourist amenities, including the Carousel at Pottstown, Manatawny Green Mini Golf, and Pottsgrove Manor. This improvement enhances pedestrian and bicyclist movement within Pottstown’s popular Gateway Tourism and Recreation (TRec) District. The project is supported by several local and regional plans and is listed as a specific improvement within the draft
Tri-County Trail Plan being prepared by DVRPC.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $80,000
Schwenksville – Main Street Pedestrian Plaza Project
Schwenksville Borough will construct a new public plaza and streetscape in front of the Schwenksville Fire Company and its associated museum. The plaza will offer a public gathering space in the center of Schwenksville’s Main Street corridor as well as bring improved connections to the county’s Perkiomen Trail and the borough’s Meadow Park, located adjacent to the site. This project is in conjunction with a new trailhead parking lot and upcoming renovations to Meadow Park. The project is included in the borough’s new Main Street streetscaping plan.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $200,000
Upper Dublin – Fort Washington Cross County Trail and Road Diet Project
Upper Dublin Township is installing a road diet and county trail segment along Commerce Drive in the Fort Washington Office Park. The $6.25 million project is part of an extended effort to establish a safer driving environment through the office park, construct a 0.8-mile section of the Cross County Trail along the vacated cartway, upgrade drainage on Commerce Drive, install a new signalized intersection for future direct access from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and provide wayfinding signage and benches for trail users. In recent years, the township has focused on revitalizing the office park through floodway mitigation, new zoning, marketing, and transportation improvements along with working with the county on construction of the Cross County Trail through Fort Washington.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $100,000
Upper Gwynedd – Lighting at Pickleball Courts Project
Upper Gwynedd Township will install lighting alongside new pickleball courts at Parkside Place Park. The township is responding to residents’ increased desire to provide facilities for this burgeoning new sporting activity. The lighting will be installed alongside new courts to expand recreational opportunities into the evening hours. This project is supported by the Upper Gwynedd Township Master Plan and meets the county’s goal to provide more opportunities for residents to exercise and have healthy lifestyles.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $27,000
Upper Salford – Schirk-Hutt and Buckman Trail Project
Upper Salford Township will construct a 1.1-mile paved multiuse trail that will connect the trail network of the Upper Salford Township Community Park with the county’s Perkiomen Trail. The project includes a pedestrian footbridge and midblock crossing and an access easement through the Buckman property, where a portion of the trail will be located. When completed, the trail will cross diverse and interesting landscapes including farmland, wooded areas, and a year-round ski and summer adventure recreation area. This project also enhances conservation efforts as it succeeds a woodlands conservation easement funded last year and sets up a potential farmland preservation opportunity alongside the planned trail.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $45,000
West Norriton – Betzwood Park Trailhead Project
West Norriton Township will construct an ADA-compliant access path at Betzwood Park connecting the park to the Schuylkill River Trail. For years, local residents have utilized an unofficial and unsafe naturally created path, which has now been closed off by the township, to access the Schuylkill River Trail. The planned connection will not only serve local residents but offers a new opportunity for employees within the office parks on Trooper Road to easily access the regional trail along the Schuylkill River. The project is supported by the township’s open space and comprehensive plans.
Whitpain – Township Line and Walton Road Pedestrian Crossing Project
Whitpain Township will provide signalized pedestrian crossings with curb ramps, push buttons, pedestrian signal heads, and crosswalks at a five-point intersection of Township Line Road, Walton Road, and Norristown Road. This intersection currently prohibits pedestrians from crossing despite a strong network of sidewalks and walking paths in surrounding developments. Allowing for pedestrians to safely cross the intersection will provide a much-needed opportunity for residents and workers to access businesses and destinations around the intersection. The project meets the goals of Whitpain’s comprehensive plan, which was completed last year.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $108,000
Worcester – Defford Road Park and Connection to Center Point Shoppes Project
Worcester Township will construct a local trail through undeveloped township-owned land at Defford Park. The trail will facilitate connections to the Zacharias Creek Trail, the Center Point Shoppes, and future village mixed-use construction at Center Point. It will ultimately reach the county’s Peter Wentz Farmstead while also providing new areas for pedestrian benches and picnic tables. The project is supported by the township’s open space plan as a connector between Heebner Park and the Peter Wentz Farmstead.
Montco 2040 Grant Award: $63,000
Visit www.montcopa.org/Montco2040GrantProgram for more on the Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program. For questions, contact Scott France at 610-278-3747 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.