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Penn Township receives $50k grant for traffic signal

Penn Township received a grant for traffic improvements at the intersection of Route 8 and Airport Road. Eagle file photo

Penn Township now has some extra money to help reconfigure the intersection of Route 8 and Airport Road.

The Butler County board of commissioners awarded the township $50,000 from a Vehicle Registration Local Use Grant, which would offset much of the township’s “local share” of the cost of the work, which includes new traffic signals.

The intersection has been a matter of public concern for years, as it has been a hot spot for vehicle collisions. The work would improve safety at the intersection by adding left turn lanes, pedestrian crossings and improved lighting, as well as replacing existing traffic lights.

The work is expected to be complete by late summer, under the direction of lead contractor M & B Services of Clarion. The contract is in an amount just under $500,000.

The grant is funded by a tax on purchases of cars and tires.

“When you buy a car, they charge you for five tires. They charge you $5 for each of the five tires,” said supervisors chairman Samuel Ward. “And that goes into a fund that is turned back to Butler County, and Butler County uses that to award a grant.”

The new grant will be added onto the Automated Red Light Enforcement grant award of just under $450,000, which the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation awarded to Penn Township last year.

The ARLE grant, which is funded by fines collected from red light enforcement systems in Pennsylvania, will make up 79.4% of the cost of the traffic signal project.

The remaining 20.6% is the “local share,” and will be funded by Penn Township’s annual Act 13 oil and gas impact fees, as well as Traffic Impact Fee infrastructure funds. That local share is expected to be partially offset by the funds from the tire grant.

“This second grant effectively reduces our local share,” Ward said. “It’ll help us offset our infrastructure costs.”

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