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Grants OK'd by Rendell rapped

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By Brad Bumsted and Brian Bowling,
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
 

HARRISBURG -- During his last three months in office, Gov. Ed Rendell approved almost $488 million worth of projects financed through state borrowing, about a third of them in Philadelphia, where Rendell was mayor.

The largest grant was $20 million to refurbish Lackawanna County Baseball Stadium, where a New York Yankees farm team will play. Three Philadelphia projects each received $10 million, including a corporate headquarters for brokerage firm Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Smaller projects included $3 million for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender senior housing center in Philadelphia and $500,000 for a Kohl's store in Lycoming County.

"I think we should shut down the program," said House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods. State government, he said, "is not a venture capital bank or a philanthropy."

Taxpayers will pay about $33 million a year for 20 years to finance the projects, according to the governor's office.

Rendell leaves office Tuesday. His spokesman, Gary Tuma, said the governor chose the projects from a list initially approved by the Legislature because they create jobs and stimulate local economies. Some lawmakers who oppose the spending "are all smiles and often come to the ribbon cuttings," Tuma said.

"Pennsylvania has been trying to bribe businesses to come or stay here for decades, and it's been an utter failure," said Matthew Brouillette, president of the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative policy group.

Certainly some of the projects -- hospitals, venues for the arts and community restoration -- have merit, Turzai said. But he said any project the state funds should be a line item in the budget and not funded with borrowed money.

"Either you have the money to pay for them, or you don't," Turzai said. He doubts the House will approve any new legislation to continue the program through which the projects were approved.

Allegheny County received $51.4 million, the second-largest amount of any county and 10.5 percent of the total. Many of the Pittsburgh projects were previously announced. Most of the rest on the state were not.

Not all of the 335 grants have signed contracts, Tuma said.

Incoming Republican Gov.-elect Tom Corbett has said he will review every project that isn't "signed, sealed and delivered."

"It's not something taxpayers should foot the bill for," said Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp. "In the end, this governor will be known as a 'wuss' because he was basically a wuss on reform," he said, playing off Rendell's nationally publicized comments two weeks ago that the country has become "a nation of wusses."

"In all cases, the administration approves projects because they provide job creation or retention," Tuma said. "Beyond that there can be economic benefits for a community."

Staff writer Brian Bowling contributed.

where the money went

A New York Yankees minor league baseball stadium in Lackwanna County and a brokerage firm's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia are among the projects Gov. Ed Rendell has approved in the past three months, records show. Rendell, who leaves office Tuesday, released almost $488 million worth of projects financed through borrowed state money and tax dollars since October. About about one-third or almost $162 million went to Philadelphia, where Rendell served as mayor.

Project Name County Amount Date Rank
Lackawanna County Baseball Stadium Lackawanna $20,000,000 1 15/10 1
2116 Chestnut Street Project Philadelphia $10,000,000 1 12 910 2
Barnes Museum VII Philadelphia $10,000,000 11/1 710 2
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC Corporate HQ Philadelphia $10,000,000 11/1 710 2
Drexel University LeBow College of Business Philadelphia $9,500,000 1 12 910 5
Gallery at Market East Philadelphia $9,000,000 11/1 710 6
Navy Yard Infrastructure Philadelphia $7,500,000 1 116/10 7
Pavilion at Market East Philadelphia $7,500,000 1 12 910 7
Philadelphia Zoo-Intermodal Project Philadelphia $7,500,000 11/1 710 7
JAT Inc. Ammunition Plant Cambria $7,000,000 1 12 910 10
Fox Chase Cancer Center IV Philadelphia $7,000,000 1 15/10 10
Duquesne City Center Access Allegheny $5,000,000 1 15/10 12
McKeesport Industrial Center Allegheny $5,000,000 1 15/10 12
Robert Morris University Business School Allegheny $5,000,000 1 15/10 12
Robert Morris University School of Nursing Allegheny $5,000,000 1 15/10 12
Goggleworks II-Incubator Berks $5,000,000 10/12/10 12
Towanda Downtown Revitalization Bradford $5,000,000 1 115/10 12
St. Francis University Science Center Cambria $5,000,000 1 12 910 12
Snyder Township Technical Training Center Jefferson $5,000,000 12/8/10 12
Lancaster City Hall Renovation Lancaster $5,000,000 1 115/10 12
Lehigh Landing Riverfront Revitalization II Lehigh $5,000,000 1 115/10 12
20 Mega Watt Frequency Regulation Plant Luzerne $5,000,000 12/20/10 12
Northampton Corners Luzerne $5,000,000 10/12/10 12
Franklin Institute VI Philadelphia $5,000,000 11/1 710 12
National Constitution Center 2010 Philadelphia $5,000,000 12/20/10 12
Renovation of the Blue Horizon Philadelphia $5,000,000 1 27/10 12
Downtown York Historic Preservation York $5,000,000 1 15/10 12
Valley View Business Park-TMG Health Lackawanna $4,500,000 1 116/10 28
Blair County Business Park Blair $3,500,000 1 115/10 29
Mercyhurst College Erie $3,500,000 1 15/10 29
Mulberry Plaza Lackawanna $3,500,000 1 115/10 29
Chatham University EcoCenter Project Allegheny $3,000,000 1 12 910 32
Pittsburgh Mills Allegheny $3,000,000 12/20/10 32
Tech 21-Site Enhancement Allegheny $3,000,000 1 15/10 32
Tech One-Bechtel Business Park Allegheny $3,000,000 1 15/10 32
The Second Mile Learning Center Centre $3,000,000 11/1 710 32
Hamilton Health Center Dauphin $3,000,000 1 12 910 32
Widener University Academic Facility Delaware $3,000,000 12/8/10 32
Lackawanna County Courthouse Renovations Lackawanna $3,000,000 1 15/10 32
Jameson Hospital IV Lawrence $3,000,000 10/25/10 32
Avantor Lehigh $3,000,000 11/1 710 32
Misericordia University Mixed Use Development Luzerne $3,000,000 10/12/10 32
Gwynedd Mercy College IV Montgomery $3,000,000 1 115/10 32
William Way LGBT Senior Housing Center Philadelphia $3,000,000 10/20/10 32
Mansfield Central Business District Revitalization Tioga $3,000,000 1 115/10 32
Donnelly College & Career Access Network II Lehigh $2,750,000 11/1 710 46
Southside Parking Structure Northampton $2,750,000 1 115/10 46
Gateway Senior Housing Chester $2,500,000 1 115/10 48
Furlow Building Redevelopment Dauphin $2,500,000 1 115/10 48
HACC-Shumaker Public Safety Center Dauphin $2,500,000 10/20/10 48
Wright Center for Primary Care Lackawanna $2,500,000 12/20/10 48
Dairy Farmers of America Lawrence $2,500,000 1 115/10 48
Reznor Industrial Expansion Mercer $2,500,000 1 115/10 48
Mt. Airy Transit Village Philadelphia $2,500,000 10/2 110 48
Teva Pharmaceuticals Philadelphia $2,500,000 11/1 710 48
Innovate Warren Warran $2,500,000 1 115/10 48
Community Legal Services III Philadelphia $2,300,000 10/12/10 57
East Suburban Family YMCA Allegheny $2,000,000 1 122/10 58
Godiva Berks $2,000,000 12/20/10 58
Reading 700 Penn Street IV Berks $2,000,000 10/12/10 58
American Eagle Expansion Blair $2,000,000 1 115/10 58
Lower Makefield Township Athletic Complex Bucks $2,000,000 12/20/10 58
Somerton Court Residence Bucks $2,000,000 1 115/10 58
St. Francis University Science Center Cambria $2,000,000 1 12 910 58
Hershey Center for Applied Research III Dauphin $2,000,000 10/12/10 58
Darby Municipal Complex & Recreation Center II Delaware $2,000,000 1 122/10 58
Franklin Mint Delaware $2,000,000 12/20/10 58
Lansdowne Theatre & Central Business District Delaware $2,000,000 11/1 710 58
Lansdowne Theatre & Central Business District III Delaware $2,000,000 11/1 710 58
Springfield Road Plaza II Delaware $2,000,000 10/12/10 58
Fayette County Business Park Fayette $2,000,000 1 115/10 58
Jefferson County Business Park Jefferson $2,000,000 1 27/10 58
Lancaster Press Building & Parking Garage Lancaster $2,000,000 1 27/10 58
Butz Center Phase III Lehigh $2,000,000 10/20/10 58
Lofts at Center Square Lehigh $2,000,000 10/12/10 58
Ellwood Crankshaft Mercer $2,000,000 10/12/10 58
Valley Forge Corporate Center Revitalization Montgomery $2,000,000 1 27/10 58
Festival Center at Steel Stax Northampton $2,000,000 1 115/10 58
Simon Silk Mill II Northampton $2,000,000 10/2 110 58
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia VIII Philadelphia $2,000,000 10/25/10 58
Laborers District Council Union Office Building Philadelphia $2,000,000 11/ 110 58
National Museum of Jewish History V Philadelphia $2,000,000 11/1 710 58
Piazza at Schmidt's Philadelphia $2,000,000 1 12 910 58
Race Street Pier Philadelphia $2,000,000 1 12 910 58
University City Gateway Philadelphia $2,000,000 1 27/10 58
Residences at the Strip II Allegheny $1,900,000 10/12/10 86
Linden Point-Hermitage Technology Center III Mercer $1,800,000 1 115/10 87
Edgewater Steel Redevelopment Allegheny $1,500,000 12/20/10 88
Lehighton Fire Station Carbon $1,500,000 1 12 910 88
Towamensing Municipal Recreation Center Carbon $1,500,000 1 12 910 88
White Haven Recreation Center Carbon $1,500,000 1 12 910 88
Bosler Memorial Library II Cumberland $1,500,000 10/2 110 88
Shippensburg Industrial Facility Franklin $1,500,000 1 27/10 88
Neighborhood Recreation and Revitalization Project Lancaster $1,500,000 12/20/10 88
Pittston Main Street Redevelopment Luzerne $1,500,000 10/2 110 88
Pittston Main Street Redevelopment II Luzerne $1,500,000 1 122/10 88
South Washington Street Parking Garage IV Luzerne $1,500,000 1 115/10 88
Williamsport Regional Medical Center III Lycoming $1,500,000 11/ 110 88
Franklin Institute V Philadelphia $1,500,000 10/12/10 88
St. Christopher's Hospital Philadelphia $1,500,000 10/12/10 88
Allegheny College of Maryland-Somerset Campus Somerset $1,500,000 1 23/10 88
William Way LGBT Senior Housing Center II Philadelphia $1,400,000 10/20/10 102
Beaver County Dock Facility Beaver $1,250,000 1 118/10 103
Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park II Indiana $1,250,000 12/20/10 103
Cumberland Gardens II Lehigh $1,250,000 1 15/10 103
Audubon Center at Strawberry Mansion Philadelphia $1,250,000 1 15/10 103
Audubon Center at Strawberry Mansion II Philadelphia $1,250,000 1 15/10 103
Somerset Hospital II Somerset $1,250,000 1 122/10 103
Joy Cone Expansion Access Mercer $1,200,000 1 115/10 109
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia IX Philadelphia $1,200,000 12/20/10 109
P&LE McKees Rocks Brownfield Site Allegheny $1,100,000 10/2 110 111
Christ Church Neighborhood Center Philadelphia $1,100,000 1 116/10 111
Beaver County Community College Beaver $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Bensalem Township Golf Course Bucks $1,000,000 10/12/10 113
Delaware Valley College Life Science & Applied Bucks $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
St. Mary's Medical Center VII Bucks $1,000,000 1 118/10 113
Richland Township Multi-Use Facility Cambria $1,000,000 11/ 110 113
Centre County Grange Encampment & Fair Centre $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Bosler Memorial Library Cumberland $1,000,000 10/2 110 113
Hershey Center for Applied Research IV Dauphin $1,000,000 10/12/10 113
Hershey Fire Station Dauphin $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Darby Town Center II-Fresh Grocer Delaware $1,000,000 11/ 110 113
Darby Town Center III Delaware $1,000,000 1 122/10 113
Lansdowne Theatre & Central Business District II Delaware $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine III Erie $1,000,000 1 118/10 113
Connellsville Airport Hangars Fayette $1,000,000 1 122/10 113
East Broad Top Preservation Project Huntington $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
Blairsville Riverfront Village Indiana $1,000,000 10/12/10 113
Lancaster General Hospital II Lancaster $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Jameson Hospital V Lawrence $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Donnelly College & Career Access Network Lehigh $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
West Pittston Library Luzerne $1,000,000 10/20/10 113
Wilkes University Science Building Luzerne $1,000,000 10/2 110 113
Lycoming Engines-Textron Facility II Lycoming $1,000,000 11/ 110 113
Kessel Athletic Complex III McKean $1,000,000 10/2 110 113
Souderton Train Station Restoration Montgomery $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
1220 North Broad Street Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 12 910 113
Arden Theatre Company Philadelphia $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Avenue of the Arts Streetscape II Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
Barnes Museum VI Philadelphia $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Chelten and Pulaski Revitalization II Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 12 910 113
Cobbs Creek II Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 122/10 113
Cobbs Creek II Fresh Grocer Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 118/10 113
Congreso de Latinos Unitos Education Center II Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
Fox Chase Cancer Center III Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 15/10 113
HUB 3939 Project Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
Independence Visitor Center Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 116/10 113
Library Company of Philadelphia Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/8/10 113
New Courtland LIFE Center Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
Philadelphia School Philadelphia $1,000,000 11/1 710 113
Renovation of the Blue Horizon II Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Sbarro Health Research Organization II Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/8/10 113
Temple University Hospital II Philadelphia $1,000,000 10/12/10 113
Temple University Hospital III Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 118/10 113
Temple University Hospital IV Philadelphia $1,000,000 12/20/10 113
University City Gateway II Philadelphia $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Waterfront Arts Center Philadelphia $1,000,000 10/20/10 113
William Way LGBT Senior Housing Center III Philadelphia $1,000,000 10/20/10 113
Endless Mountains Health System III Susquehanna $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Endless Mountains Health System IV Susquehanna $1,000,000 12/8/10 113
Wellsboro & Corning Rail Yard Improvements Tioga $1,000,000 1 27/10 113
Washington & Jefferson College Dieter-Porter Reno Washington $1,000,000 1 115/10 113
Avenue of the Arts Streetscape Philadelphia $900,000 12/20/10 163
Darby Town Center IV Fresh Grocer Delaware $850,000 12/20/10 164
Former Tippins/62nd Street Industrial Park Allegheny $750,000 12/20/10 165
Great Allegheny Passage Allegheny $750,000 12/20/10 165
McGuire Memorial Beaver $750,000 1 118/10 165
Millersburg Colonnade Dauphin $750,000 12/20/10 165
Downtown Connellsville Revitalization Fayette $750,000 1 122/10 165
North Union Township Recreation Center Fayette $750,000 10/2 110 165
Philhaven Hospital Renovations Lebanon $750,000 1 27/10 165
South Lebanon Township Municipal Facility Lebanon $750,000 1 27/10 165
Martin Towers VI Lehigh $750,000 10/12/10 165
TJX Solar Photovoltaic Project Luzerne $750,000 1 12 910 165
Community Legal Services Philadelphia $750,000 10/12/10 165
Community Legal Services II Philadelphia $750,000 10/12/10 165
Hunting Park Revitalization Philadelphia $750,000 11/ 110 165
Hunting Park Revitalization II Philadelphia $750,000 12/20/10 165
Women Against Abuse Sojourner House Philadelphia $750,000 1 122/10 165
Spring Creek Road Improvement Project Dauphin $725,000 12/20/10 180
Haddington Health Center II Philadelphia $700,000 10/12/10 181
West Oak Lane Plaza III Philadelphia $700,000 12/20/10 181
Mann Music Center VII Philadelphia $625,000 10/12/10 183
Main Line Art Center Renovations Delaware $600,000 12/20/10 184
Wilkes-Barre Downtown Streetscape Luzerne $600,000 1 115/10 184
Lafferty Hollow Industrial Park III McKean $600,000 10/25/10 184
William Way LGBT Senior Housing Center IV Philadelphia $600,000 10/2 110 184
Southpointe III Washington $600,000 12/20/10 184
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
Bryant Street Redevelopment Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
Carson Street-Goodwill Building Rehab II Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
Duquesne University Center Allegheny $500,000 10/12/10 189
Pittsburgh Community Services Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
Pittsburgh Technical Institute Allegheny $500,000 1 27/10 189
Redevelopment of Former Dravo Site Allegheny $500,000 10/2 110 189
Robert Morris University School of Communications Allegheny $500,000 12/20/10 189
UCP/CLASS-Center II Allegheny $500,000 1 122/10 189
Watson Institute Friendship Academy Allegheny $500,000 1 27/10 189
Weinberg Village Allegheny $500,000 10/12/10 189
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center IV Beaver $500,000 11/1 710 189
Alvernia University IV Berks $500,000 10/12/10 189
Warminster Township Storm Water Management Bucks $500,000 12/8/10 189
Clement Baseball Academy Butler $500,000 12/20/10 189
Chester County Public Safety Training Center III Chester $500,000 12/8/10 189
Chester County Technical College High School II Chester $500,000 12/8/10 189
Longwood Gardens Chester $500,000 12/8/10 189
Crozer Health System-Springfield Hospital Delaware $500,000 1 118/10 189
Eastern University Performing Arts Center Delaware $500,000 10/12/10 189
Haverford Township YMCA Delaware $500,000 12/20/10 189
Antrim Commons Business Park Franklin $500,000 11/1 710 189
Antrim Commons Business Park II Franklin $500,000 11/1 710 189
Arbor Place Community Center Lancaster $500,000 12/20/10 189
Lancaster Workforce Training Center Lancaster $500,000 1 27/10 189
SACA Workforce Training Center Lancaster $500,000 1 118/10 189
Cetronia Ambulance Corps II Lehigh $500,000 1 27/10 189
Haven House III Lehigh $500,000 11/1 710 189
Lehigh Valley Health Network-Muhlenberg Hos IV Lehigh $500,000 1 23/10 189
Lehigh Valley Health Network-Muhlenberg Hospital Lehigh $500,000 11/ 110 189
New Casa Guadallupe Center Lehigh $500,000 1 118/10 189
The Bistro Lehigh $500,000 10/25/10 189
Townes at Trexler Square Lehigh $500,000 10/2 110 189
Kohls Department Store Lycoming $500,000 11/ 110 189
Abington Memorial Hospital NICU Montgomery $500,000 12/20/10 189
Arcadia University II Montgomery $500,000 1 122/10 189
Ardmore Station III Montgomery $500,000 12/20/10 189
Eagleville Hospital Montgomery $500,000 1 27/10 189
Heuser Park and Valley Forge Park Trail Montgomery $500,000 12/20/10 189
Holy Redeemer Health System III Maternity & NICU Montgomery $500,000 12/20/10 189
Shop Rite Montgomery $500,000 11/ 110 189
Lehigh University Science Building III Northampton $500,000 1 122/10 189
Route 33 Interchange Development Northampton $500,000 1 23/10 189
Chestnut Hill College Elevator Renovations Philadelphia $500,000 12/20/10 189
Chestnut Hill College Elevator Renovations II Philadelphia $500,000 12/20/10 189
Ed Snider Youth Hockey III Philadelphia $500,000 10/2 110 189
Frankford Friends School Philadelphia $500,000 11/ 110 189
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