Harrisburg – Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) was pleased to announce that the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust will receive $1.5 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program to build a Jacobean-Revival regional welcome center/community event center in Boyertown Borough, Berks County.
Boyertown’s recently-completed visioning plan identified tourism and recreation as the region’s most promising growth industry. The highest-rated heritage and recreational railroad in Pennsylvania, the Colebrookdale, is the regional anchor tourist attraction. The Jacobean-Revival building will enable the railroad to safely board passengers, attend to their hospitality needs, and direct them to the community where they will become shoppers, diners, and overnight guests.
The welcome center will also provide a place for organizations to meet and hold community events. The facility will connect rail, pedestrian, automobile, and bicycle modes of transportation, with an emphasis on getting people out of their cars to explore the town on foot and on bike.
“It represents the final of a multi-phase railyard redevelopment project,” said Mensch. “The space will provide information, generate revenue and jobs through the sale of locally-produced crafts and foodstuffs, collect traveler data, market Boyertown as a destination, and engage the local community. This approach to creating a destination information center makes it sustainable and valuable to both the local community and incoming tourists.”
Mr. Nathaniel Guest, Executive Director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, thanked the Senator for his support.
“We are grateful to Senator Mensch and our other elected officials for helping to make this regional amenity a reality,” said Guest. “Their forward-thinking leadership is creating a stronger and more sustainable economy than we’ve seen in many years. I applaud them for working with us using Pennsylvania’s unique historic resources like the Colebrookdale Railroad to create jobs and secure investment in our communities.”
RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.
For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com. State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/senatormensch, or Twitter @SenatorMensch.
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