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20Mar

New Kensington to Receive $1.2 million for Downtown, Blight Removal, Business Training

New Kensington is set to receive $1.2 million over the next six years through a program that enables local companies to earmark a portion of their state taxes for use in community projects.

“I’m looking very forward to it — this is a really exciting opportunity for the city,” Mayor Tom Guzzo said.

Tay Waltenbaugh, director of Westmoreland Community Action, said New Kensington will receive six years’ worth of funding through his organization’s Neighborhood Partnership Program.

The program is administered through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

UPMC and BNY Mellon will funnel $200,000 to the city annually, Waltenbaugh said, and efforts will be focused on the city’s downtown area, blight removal and a partnership with Penn State New Kensington’s LaunchBox, a 10-week training session geared toward entrepreneurs.

“We really want to target the downtown corridor and improve some businesses,” he said.

Waltenbaugh said he and Guzzo are working to create a funding committee that will decide what to do with the money, as well as a volunteer group that will give the funding committee recommendations on how to use the money.

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