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DCED Secretary Davin to Join Slate Belt Community Leaders to Announce Neighborhood Partnership Program

Rural, Multi-Municipal Project is First of its Kind

The Community Action Lehigh Valley (Community Action) will announce the approval of the first multi-municipal Neighborhood Partnership Program, “Slate Belt Rising,” at a press conference on Thursday, February 2, at 1:30 PM. The briefing will take place at Bangor Trust Brewing, 11 Broadway, in Bangor.

The boroughs of Portland, Bangor, Pen Argyl, and Wind Gap will jointly plan and implement community revitalization initiatives through this six-year project. Corporate partners Merchants Bank of Bangor, Waste Management, ESSA Bank & Trust, and Lafayette Ambassador Bank have pledged a total of $775,000 to this project. In addition, the Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development has committed $20,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding and $50,000 in Community Investment Partnership Program funding in the first year of the project.

The Neighborhood Partnership Program is a tax credit offered through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Slate Belt Rising is Community Action’s sixth Neighborhood Partnership Program following two in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, and one in Easton. It is also the first multi-municipal Neighborhood Partnership Program in the Commonwealth and the first to focus on the revitalization of boroughs. In part because of the groundbreaking nature of this project, Dennis Davin, Secretary of DCED, will be participating in the press conference.

Slate Belt Rising Steering Committee Chair Mike Ortoski will chair this event and will be joined by Pen Argyl Borough Manager Robin Zmoda, Secretary Davin, senior executives of the corporations investing in the project, Northampton County Executive John Brown and Community Action Executive Director Alan Jennings.

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