The Bucks County Redevelopment Authority's Board of Directors awarded nearly $4 million worth of gaming grants to the Levittown-area communities that are directly impacted by Parx Casino.
The impact grants have awarded millions of dollars to Lower Bucks County towns. The authority said in a release that they asked townships surrounding Bensalem - where Parx is based - and the county to submit grant request for their most pressing projects which need funding.
Bristol Borough was awarded $194,644 for the purchase of a wastewater jet truck. The trucks are often used to clear obstructions and blockages from pipes.
Bristol Township was granted $220,000 to upgrade emergency radio systems for the town's first responders. The township also received $597,431 to retrofit street lights to new, more efficient LED bulbs. The township was the largest municipal recipient of funds.
Falls Township, which runs the multi-agency Lower Bucks SWAT Team, received just over $55,000 for new uniforms, bullet-proof vests and other equipment. The team responds to calls around the area and is made up of officers from several local towns.
Langhorne Borough got $38,326 to purchase a new vehicle for its small police force.
The Lower Bucks County Public Safety Training Center on the campus of Bucks County Community College in Bristol Township was granted $800,000.
Middletown Township got just over $106,000 to replace 3 police vehicles in its fleet. A sum of $26,541 was also set aside for a new vehicle for the detective unit. The public works department received $77,981 for a township fueling station. Dump trucks and a sign machine are expected to be purchased with an additional $144,753 grant. The Fire Marshal's office will also get $51,000 for a new vehicle. Emergency radios will be acquired using a $212,000 gift.
The regional Towns Against Graffiti program was the recipient of a $74,350. The money is set to go toward graffiti and litter removal.
The Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center in Warrington and the Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership Health Clinic in Bensalem both received funding.
Bensalem and Lower Southampton townships also received financial rewards for several of their proposals.
The Bristol-based redevelopment authority said that local governments submitted about 40 requests totaling over $8 million. The authority’s board and staff worked over the past few weeks to determine which of the proposals would funded with the $3,789,000.48.
“It was a difficult decision, but we did our best to award grants to municipalities in accordance with the Pennsylvania Gaming Laws, the authority’s chairman, Patricia Bachtle, said.
The program started 6-years-ago after the casino facility opened at the Bensalem race track. Parx now boast over 3,500 slots, 140 table games and 60 poker tables.
In 2011, the casino and horse track took in over $21 million in revenue.