Pittston City has a new police car on the way thanks to help from a $16,900 federal grant.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development State Director Tom Williams made a stop at Pittston City Hall on Thursday to announce the funds.
“This is money that’s coming from the Farm Bill,” Williams said. “That’s why it’s so important we have a Farm Bill. Because it’s not just about wheat and corn. It’s about building rural communities and a higher quality of life.”
The grant is funded through the department’s Community Facilities Program.
“The police vehicle is addressing public safety in a city that is in the midst of a downtown revitalization project,” Williams said.
The city will provide the remaining cash to purchase a 2014 black Ford Interceptor. The total cost is $27,562, said Pittston City Administrator Joe Moskovitz. Delivery is expected the first week of October.
The vehicle will be fully equipped and will improve public safety in the community, Moskovitz said.
The vehicle is being purchased from Kovatch Ford of Nesquehoning.
The city has an unmarked car and an identical car used for the K9 unit. The K9 car died, so all the K-9 equipment will be moved. The new car will replace the unmarked vehicle.
Williams said the announcement is another reminder of the importance of the USDA programs for rural America. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy and that’s just one reason why he urges Congress to pass a bill as soon as possible.
Last year in Pennsylvania alone, through grants and primarily loans, the USDA spent $950 million.
In February, Pittston was awarded a $1.2 million low-interest loan that will pay for an elevator in City Hall and the relocation of the Police Department to the basement. The building would then be fully handicapped accessible. The terms of the loan allow for a 40-year repayment at 3.125 percent interest.
Last year, the Pittston Library received more than $860,000 in loan and grant funding to aid in the building’s 5,000-square-foot expansion. The new section will house a new children’s wing, additional shelf space, a craft room and a wired community room
Also, funds were awarded to aid in the city’s Streetscape project on Main Street.