Karen Shuey, The Reading Eagle 

The mammoth federal budget that was passed last week will send a sizable chunk of dollars into Berks County.

The $1.5 trillion spending plan was signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday after it was approved by Congress. It will fund the government for the rest of the year and provide $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine’s defense against invading Russian forces.

It includes $730 billion in domestic spending, representing the largest increase in four years. And it provides $782 billion for defense.

Some of that domestic spending will find its way to Berks.

Projects in the county will get just over $6.9 million in federal funding. Local members of Congress lauded the impact that money will have.

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean said she was thrilled that her colleagues came together to pass a spending plan that includes substantial funding for community projects across their districts.

“Our office has advocated for these investments to make our communities healthier, safer and more accessible,” the Montgomery County Democrat said. “I look forward to seeing the progress firsthand and working with community partners to achieve their visions.”

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser said the passage of the bill is the culmination of more than a year of working with stakeholders in his community to identify and secure federal support for their critical needs.

“These federal funds will be instrumental for completing these projects, to improve our infrastructure, accelerate revitalization and improve Pennsylvanians’ quality of life,” the Luzerne County Republican said. “This process has allowed me to bring my district’s needs directly before Congress without interference from unelected bureaucrats directing federal funding.”

Sen. Bob Casey said he was proud to help deliver funding for these critical projects.

“These projects will revitalize communities across the commonwealth and support the economic health of both rural and urban areas,” said Casey, a Democrat.

Sinking Spring

Amount: $1.87 million

The project: This funding will realign the intersection of Penn, Columbia and Cacoosing avenues on the western edge of the Central Business District to ease traffic congestion and accommodate tanker trucks hauling liquid gas, propane and ethanol to the highway.

Albright College

Amount: $1.48 million

The project: The funds will be used to support the college’s Science Research Institute initiative to connect Albright students with children in Reading to expose them to science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics learning so that they might fill highly desired jobs of the future.

Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust

Amount: $1.35 million

The project: The funding will be used to finish safety and mobility improvements to the Boyertown Yard, a broadly supported community and economic development project that was not completed because of the pandemic. The work proposed includes an access route for tour buses and park-and-ride station for Pottstown Area Rapid Transit. It includes public restrooms, landscaping and stormwater management.

Berks County

Amount: $750,000

The project: This project funding will help complete the necessary capacity and environmental study to review the available feasibility and potential impacts of adding passenger rail service to the existing freight lines between Reading and Philadelphia.

Penn State Health St. Joseph hospital

Amount: $500,000

The project: To provide direct medical and dental services to underserved people who live in the rural areas of Berks who have limited access to primary and specialty medical care through the purchase of a mobile community health center.

Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation

Amount: $500,000

The project: This project funding will establish an expanded technical center that will offer dual-language programs in adult education and occupational training in high-demand occupations.

United Community Services for Working Families

Amount: $453,511

The project: The money will be used to provide teenagers and young adults in economically disadvantaged areas access to academic, vocational and life skills training.


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