Pyle Goes After State Grant

Kittanning Leader Times
20 September 2014
By Julie E. Martin
A state grant to further transportation and economic development may pick up the bulk of the cost of operating Armstrong County locks on the Allegheny River next year.
State Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Ford City, has applied for $120,000 from PennDOT to support lock operations in Clinton, Kittanning, Mosgrove and Rimer in 2015.

While it is too early in the grant game to speculate about the odds of being funded, Pyle said one thing is certain: “We know from talking to PennDOT that this is the most unique application they've seen,” he said. “We're going to cut new ground here.”

To him, the move makes sense because the grants are meant to promote economic development and ensure safe and reliable transportation.

“It's our opinion, what the Allegheny River Development Corporation is doing fits into the newly created multi-modal fund,” Pyle said.

The ARDC for two years has been working with the federal government to allow a private agency to fund operation of the locks. With that permission granted, the group is working on details of how the payments will be made.

It's continuing to look toward next year and paying for lock operations, even if the PennDOT grant doesn't come through.

“It's certainly not going to deter us from any more fundraising,” said ARDC President Linda Hemmes. “We're diligently fundraising in the face of uncertainty.”

Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315, or