MERCER COUNTY, Pa. (WKBN) – Money is necessary to move projects. Four in Mercer County have received state funding, and it will help them take big steps forward.

Mercer County has suffered from population loss for the last 30 years. Penn-Northwest Development Corporation is committed to reversing the trend. Money for the projects adds up to $2.85 million dollars.

“Getting a RACP grant is no easy feat. It really does take a good project,” said Rod Wilt, executive director of Penn-Northwest Development.

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is benefiting four projects. Joy Cone will get $1 million to move along an expansion, which will lead to 90 more employees.

Buhl Community Recreation Center will receive $500,000 to grow its facilities and amenities and add exercise equipment.

JCL Development, owned by Jim Landino, is getting $850,000 to create the Downtown Sharon Center, a place for eating and drinking establishments. We featured Jim Landino’s work earlier this year, as he envisions a downtown roaring with activity.

“They’ve seen Sharon as a town that’s blighted and falling apart and in need of love. It’s been getting all those things. So let’s turn it up at the next level, which, the chapter we’re now into is just being rebuilt,” Landino said.

The final $500,000 is for Penn-Northwest to repair the roof of the former Wheatland Tube, giving it new life. It has a new owner who’s ready to see the building help a regional resurgence.

“His desire is to reposition it and ultimately even have it leased or sold to a light manufacturing or industrial type of user,” Wilt said.

The projects each reach different groups and spotlight different areas of improvement.
Together, they make Mercer County better.

‘When you combine all those together, it just enhances our county is a great place to live, learn, work and play,” Wilt said.

The grants require a 50% match and they have to be used on capital projects using the prevailing wage.