Scranton Mayor Paige G. Cognetti announced the creation of a charitable fund to support the future of the City’s parks and historic preservation on Wed., Nov. 8, 2023. The creation of the Electric City Fund follows the ongoing investment of nearly $16 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and a proactive pursuit of multiple grant opportunities to fund park improvements and the restoration of Scranton City Hall.
“President Biden’s rescue plan and the grants we’ve obtained provide us with a significant opportunity to strategically invest in the Scranton community,” Mayor Cognetti said. “It’s my hope that past and present residents, as well as our nonprofit community, will partner with the City in sustaining these investments through the Electric City Fund without placing new burdens on our taxpayers.”
“We are proud to have a long-standing relationship with the City of Scranton and, through the new Electric City Foundation established at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, many areas of focus in the City will benefit residents and the community, including preservation of city buildings and city parks, and more,” added Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “The Electric City Foundation is a perfect example of how collaboration can lead to a stronger community. We are grateful to partner with the City of Scranton to administer this new charitable Foundation.”
Through a combination of ARPA and grant funding, the City has already made significant investments into parks throughout Scranton, including:
- $3.5 million in ARPA funds towards the construction of a new pool complex and $500,000 in Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds for the development of a multipurpose court complex at Nay Aug Park, 500 Arthur Avenue;
- $3 million in ARPA funds for planned pool repairs and another $850,000 for the construction of a new skate park at Weston Field, 982 Providence Road;
- $2 million in ARPA funds for planned repairs at Connell Park pool, 800 Gibbons Street, with additional planned park improvements funded by a $149,492 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and a $381,590 grant from the National Park Service’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program;
- $1.4 million in ARPA funds and $125,000 in Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) grants for improvements including the construction of a new splash pad and new play equipment at Capouse Avenue Park, 1300 Capouse Avenue;
- $1.025 million in total ARPA funds for improvements at Novembrino Park at 200 10th Avenue, including a $60,000 gift from the Monsignor Anthony C. Marra Memorial Fund of Friends of the Poor; Connors Park at 500 Orchard Street; and the North Scranton Mini Park at 1800 Wayne Avenue driven by the October 2021 Scranton Recreation Needs Assessment & Master Plan;
- $500,000 in ARPA seed funding used in collaboration with Trust for Public Land and Valley In Motion to transform multiple schoolyards including spaces at John F. Kennedy Elementary School at 2200 Prospect Avenue and John G. Whittier Elementary School at 700 Orchard Street;
- $500,000 in ARPA funds to match a $481,600 Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for improvements at Robinson Park, 90 East Mountain Road;
- $396,239 in Pennsylvania DCED grants for new play equipment and accessible features at Grace Street Park, 400 Grace Street;
- $396,104 in Pennsylvania DCED grants to match Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to improve Weston Park, 100 Spring Street;
- $215,296 in ARPA funds to match the City’s investment into improvements at Oakmont Park, 200 Debbie Drive; and
- $100,000 in DCED grants to improve Billy Barrett Park, 2800 Colliery Avenue.
Additionally, the City is investing $3.3 million into the restoration of the roof and North Tower of City Hall, 340 N. Washington Ave., through its ARPA funds.
Those interested in contributing to the new charitable fund can donate online at www.safdn.org by clicking on the “Donate” tab and searching for “Electric City Foundation.” Donors can also send checks payable to the Scranton Area Foundation with a memo that reads “Electric City Foundation” to the Scranton Area Foundation, 615 Jefferson Ave., Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510.
Information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton received $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents. Scranton City Council approved an original ARPA spending plan in May 2022 and a revised plan in October 2023.
Last modified: November 9, 2023