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Trail Town program approved for federal grant

| Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 2:46 a.m.

A nonprofit program addressing economic development in towns along the Great Allegheny Passage and other bicycle trails announced Tuesday it has been approved for a $140,000 federal grant.

The Progress Fund's Trail Town program said the Department of Agriculture Rural Community Development Initiative grant will provide funding over a two-year period.

“We're the only (program) in Pennsylvania to be awarded,” said Trail Town's William Prince, referring to the USDA program designed to help small rural communities develop jobs and boost economic development. Nationwide, 31 grants were awarded by the agency in April.

Prince said this is the first time the trail program has received federal funding. He said the program applied for a similar federal grant several years ago but was not approved.

The Trail Town program assists 19 communities statewide — including McKeesport, Boston and Homestead — with business and development, marketing, economic research, community connections, real estate development and small business loans.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or

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