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City Council approves $3 million grant application to improve select neighborhoods

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Councilman Henry Nixon gives the first responders memorial tribute during the 2016 Court of Valor & Safekeepers Shrine Ceremony with York's Observance of the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 at Prospect Hill Cemetery in North York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York City will soon submit a $3 million grant application for improvement projects on Pershing Avenue, Duke Street and Penn Street, following a Tuesday, July 17, council committee meeting.

The York City Council unanimously voted to approve the submission, but the specific date the application will be submitted is unknown.

If approved, the money would come from the Multimodal Transportation Fund of the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.

The move is just one of several of the city's plans for economic and community development laid out by Mayor Michael Helfrich.

More:York City economic development: Fixing a 'broken system'

More:York City to receive $6 million for innovation district

On Duke Street, from North Street to Jackson Street, the grant would allow the city to add more lights, fix curbs and sidewalks and pave roads where needed, said Chaz Green, acting director of public works for the city.

Additionally, the grant would be used to create a new street to link Pershing Avenue  with North Street.

"This is an opportunity to do real good things in the neighborhoods," Green said. "This is something we're able to get done if we get this grant, and we won't have to use taxpayer dollars."

The work has long been needed, added Council President Henry Nixon.

"It makes good sense to give neighborhoods like these a boost," he said. "This is important work."

In addition to neighborhood improvement, the money would also fund an extension to the York County Heritage Rail Trail, a 21-mile trail established in 1992 that extends from York City to the Maryland state line. 

The view of the Rail Trail from the parking lot at Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road on the edge of Springettsbury Township, Friday, July 21, 2017. The Rail Trail Authority has received funding for the next phase of the Northern Extension which involves building a ramp to funnel the trail over Route 30 and then down the west bank of Codorus Creek. Dawn J. Sagert photo (Photo: The York Dispatch)

The trail would be extended through the Northwest Triangle to meet with North George Street.

Tuesday night, the city also approved a contract that would would permit the York City Redevelopment Authority Board to donate a part of the land, which has laid barren for more than 10 years. 

Other plans for the land: This is the second time in recent months that the empty plot has made headlines.

On Monday, June 4, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $6 million state grant for York City to build a technology-based innovation hub.

More:York City to receive $6 million for innovation district

The 240,000-square-foot facility will be home to American-made robotic device development, design workshops, space for offices and labs and more.

"This will make sure York is no longer just trying to keep up with the new economy but that it will be on the forefront of it," Wolf said.