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The Recovery Act At Work
Somerset County
$31,993,441 *
With American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, Pennsylvania is building lasting assets. Recovery Act awards are helping to pave roads and fix bridges, fund clean water projects, strengthen a public education system that continues to produce academic gains for students, and improve our state's environment and energy efficiency. The Recovery Act is also helping those most in need through extended unemployment benefits, food assistance and health care. In the process, Pennsylvania is creating tens of thousands of jobs. For more detailed information about projects in your county, follow the corresponding project link below. In instances where projects impact more than one county, the project and funding amount may appear in other county summaries. Many other projects in the county are funded by Recovery Act dollars distributed directly from federal agencies. Information on those projects is available at http://www.recovery.gov/.
Education
Energy
Energy $3,545,512 *
The project will increase energy efficiency in homes by reducing energy costs and increasing comfort while safeguarding the health and safety of the resident. Eligible applicants are those persons or families whose income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. On-site energy audits are conducted on each home to determine which of the following measures would be installed or services performed, up to an average of $6,500 per home: blower door guided air sealing to effectively locate and reduce air-leakage throughout the home; installation of attic, wall, basement and crawlspace insulation and ventilation to reduce energy loss; heating system modification or replacement to increase the efficiency and/or safety of the heating system; minor repairs, and/or health and safety measures are provided (when necessary) to allow the safe and effective installation of the weatherization measures; energy baseload reduction, including CFL and appliance replacement, and; client education on the proper use and maintenance of the installed Weatherization measures and ways to reduce energy waste everyday. The project will weatherize 362 homes through 3/31/12.
The Berlin Community Building is a 19,200 sq. ft. structure owned by the Borough of Berlin, and among other uses, it is the headquarters of the Berlin Borough Municipal Office. It is heated by a single 44 year old 1.7 million btu gas boiler furnace. We propose to change the heating system for the building to a series of energy efficient gas boiler units with a total energy reduction (efficiency improvement) of 27.4%. The Borough of Berlin also owns the Berlin Municipal Electric System which includes not only electric poles, wire, and transformers, but also 195 outdated mercury vapor cobra head street lights. This projects includes the retrofitting of 170 of these street lights with LED street lights which will use 55.24% less electric energy than the mercury vapor units.
Somerset County proposes an HVAC component and two LED lighting projects to save energy and money. The County proposes the installation of a high efficiency HVAC system with a modern control system that is properly designed for size and zones will dramatically reduce energy consumption and operating expenses. This installation would take place at the County jail. The current lighting at the Somerset County Library is inappropriate, inefficient, and inadequate for a library facility. Because the facility is a retrofit of an old school gymnasium, the overhead fixtures were not designed for reading, meetings, or administrative functions rate of return is 11.5 years. LED lights are proposed for this location. The County also proposed a significant amount of retrofit LEDs at the County Parking Garage, which will save money and energy.
Expand an existing manure digester cogen operation to capture currently un-utilized (flared) biogas to produce additional, clean renewable energy while reducing toxic air emissions and improving water quality.
Other Infrastructure / Housing
Other Infrastructure / Housing $1,329,389 *
The project provides financial assistance and services to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless or help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized. Funds will be used for activities to address the jurisdiction’s homelessness needs such as: financial assistance with rental payments; security deposits; utility payments or deposits; arrearages; moving costs; and, motel/hotel vouchers; and housing relocation and stabilization services such as case management; outreach and engagement; housing search and placement; legal services; and, credit repair.
The project will consist of a waterline extension in Quemahoning Township. Approximately 9,200 linear feet of waterline will be installed connecting the Village of Blaugh to the water system operated by the Conemaugh Township Municipal Authority.
The project is a continuation of a housing rehabilitation program in Conemaugh Township. Two grants of up to $13,500 will be awarded to income eligible homeowners. In addition, there will be 16 water laterals to residents along Griffie Road. Also included are sanitary sewer improvements along South Columbia Ave. and approximately 1,400 lf of sewer line will be replaced. The project also extends sanitary sewer along Plank Road and reconstruction of Railroad and 17th Streets. Replacement of sanitary sewer along Main and Paint Streets in Paint Borough will also be conducted.
Removal of 1,770 tons of sludge from the lagoon treatment plant in order to meet the total suspended solids limits.  Replacement/ rehabilitation of 8,000 linear feet of sewer to reduce wet weather flow and minimize bypassing. This is an existing system that serves approximately 1,200 customers in this low income area, and user rates are expected to increase by 5%.
Transportation Infrastructure
Transportation Infrastructure $8,787,454 *
Resurfacing of US Route 30 from Westmoreland County Line to State Route 985 in Jenner Township and Jennerstown Borough
Preservation of 20 bridges in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties
Replacement of 3 bridges and Preservation of 2 bridges on State Route 2019 and State Route 2021 over Shaffers Run in Fairhope Township
Removal of bridge over Wilber Coal Company Coal Mine Railroad bridge in Quemahoning Township
Workforce
Workforce $449,664 *
The project will support the PA Workware Program to provide financial assistance for job seekers needing to obtain safety-related clothing, uniforms and weather related outdoor clothing when these items are mandated as a condition of employment; provision of financial literacy classes to augment housing counseling/training program activities. It will develop a Fuel Savings Account program as well as a Fuel Bank providing funds for pre-purchase of fuel at an established lower rate; and develop a Green Technology program and provide training opportunities for out of school youth in the areas of solar and wind energy, energy reduction techniques and installation of geothermal energy savings measures in the home and business setting. The project will also enhance employment training opportunities by providing Commercial Drivers License training and computer-based language skills training for persons with limited English skills and others to meet job requirements.
* Totals reflect only funding flowing through state agencies.

Direct Benefits to Families
How PA Benefits People Helped in Somerset County Explanation of Benefits Reporting as of
Food Assistance 8,885 The Recovery Act will help low income individuals and families with a 13.69% increase in the maximum Food Stamp (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP) benefit. It also suspends the 3 month limit on assistance for many unemployed childless adults. March 2010
Health Insurance 12,062 Low income children and adults will continue to have access to health care through Medical Assistance. March 2010
Health Insurance for Unemployed 3,800 The Recovery Act will help make health care available to individuals who are involuntarily separated from their jobs. A COBRA subsidy will pay 65 percent of the monthly premium for individuals earning less than $145,000 and couples earning less than $290,000. March 2010
Taxpayer Relief 34,398 Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive a $400 tax credit in 2009 and 2010. Married couples filing jointly and earning up to $150,000 will receive a $800 tax credit. October 2009
Unemployment Compensation 5,700 The Recovery Act will help these Pennsylvanians with a $25 per week increase in unemployment benefits through the rest of the year. It also provides additional weeks of benefits. March 2010
All numbers are estimates, and will fluctuate over time.
Get Instant Updates on Recovery Activities
Oversight Commission
The Stimulus Oversight Commission reviews, monitors and advises PA’s plans for stimulus spending to assure that citizens get the best from the program. Learn more.
Hotline
Concerned about suspected illegal or irresponsible actions regarding Recovery spending?  Call 877-888-7927. Learn more.
Do you want to view Recovery project contracts?
Contracts awarded for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds by state agencies are posted online through the Pennsylvania Treasury’s office. Search for ARRA contracts.