Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • PennDOT Encourages Public Comment on Projects in Connellsville and Rostraver
  • 2021-2022 Legislative Session Nears the Midway Point
  • Shopping Local Helps Neighbors, Strengthens Communities
  • Preparing Sites for Jobs: State Assistance is Available
  • Dealing with the Challenges of Driving in Snow
  • Remembering Pearl Harbor
  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Around the District

PennDOT Encourages Public Comment on Projects in Connellsville and Rostraver

Connellsville – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Engineering District 12-0 invites the public to attend a Virtual Public Meeting to learn about the final design phase of the Crawford Ave. Bridge Project (S.R. 0711 Section 06M) in the City of Connellsville, Fayette County.

The project features rehabilitation (superstructure replacement) of the Crawford Ave. Bridge carrying SR 0711 over the Youghiogheny River.

The virtual plans display includes project information, anticipated design and construction schedules, and a location map. The virtual plans display can be accessed on the PennDOT website beginning Wednesday, December 8. The comment period will be open through Friday, December 24.

To access the webpage, visit click on the Public Meetings link under the District Links heading, pick the Fayette County box, and then select the Crawford Ave. Bridge Rehabilitation Project tile.

Rostraver Twp – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Engineering District 12-0 invites the public to participate in a Virtual Plans Display for the Interstate 70 at Arnold City Interchange Improvement Project (SR 0070-Section D10) located in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County.

The project features replacement of the existing interchange and various roadway and bridge improvements along Interstate 70, SR 3011 (Indian Hill Rd.), SR 3017 (Crawford Ln.) and Finley Road.

The virtual plans display will be available online at from 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, December 17 and will be viewable on all devices. The purpose of the virtual plans display is to provide updated details regarding the interchange design improvements, environmental studies, and the anticipated construction schedule. Website visitors may add or update their information to the project contact list, learn about project design details and offer feedback.

Persons unable to access the virtual plans display online may obtain an informational handout and comment form at the Rostraver Township Municipal Building, 201 Municipal Drive, Rostraver Township, PA 15012.

2021-2022 Legislative Session Nears the Midway Point

The first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session is coming to a close with enactment of several key measures and more work to do in the second year.

This fall, the Senate passed bills to ease nursing home staff shortages, enable more schools to combat pandemic learning loss, help farmers transport goods and make home deliveries, and make political campaigns more transparent.

That’s just a sample. I’ll highlight these and other bills in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can check a complete rundown here.

Shopping Local Helps Neighbors, Strengthens Communities

Small businesses create 65% of jobs in Pennsylvania, and these local employers could use our help this holiday shopping season.

Shopping local doesn’t just help the local economy, it builds relationships within the community. Buying from business owners you trust makes shopping experiences more enjoyable because you know where the products are coming from and the people behind those products.

When you shop locally, many of the goods and services are locally sourced or crafted. This means that many of the items are one of a kind and carry a unique story. It’s not always possible, but when you can, I hope you will support your local employers this season and year-round.

Preparing Sites for Jobs: State Assistance is Available

Municipalities, municipal authorities, redevelopment authorities, industrial development agencies and private developers can apply now for funding to prepare sites for jobs-producing development.

The Business in Our Sites program has no maximum or minimum loan amount. However, the amount of the grant may not exceed $4 million or 40% of the total combined grant and loan award, whichever is less. Private developers are only eligible for loans.

Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2022. The program is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Dealing with the Challenges of Driving in Snow

No one wants to get behind the wheel when it’s snowing, but sometimes we have no choice. PennDOT offers tips for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen, often referred to as “black ice.”
  • Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can often form without warning.
  • State law requires you to turn on your headlights when your wipers are in use.
  • Use your low beams in particularly bad weather, especially in cases of heavy or blowing snow.

You can also find ideas for preparing your vehicle for winter weather and creating a winter emergency kit.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The surprise strike would cost the lives of more than 2,400 military personnel and civilians.

We mark this date knowing that while the attack decimated America’s Pacific fleet, our resilience and industrial might would allow the U.S. to build a military force powerful enough to defeat the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany.

“This war will give us much trouble in the future,” said Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. “The fact that we have had a small success at Pearl Harbor is nothing.” On Tuesday, we will remember the lives lost 80 years ago, and note the fate that awaits any adversary who questions American resolve.

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah ends at sundown Monday evening, wrapping up an observance that this year began Nov. 28.

To everyone celebrating Hanukkah, chag urim sameach, “Happy Festival of Lights.”

Around the District

Feeling in the Christmas Spirit? My office in Connellsville is a donation site for Toys for Tots! Pickup is next Thursday or Friday. If you’d like to donate, bring an unwrapped present to 171 West Crawford Avenue, Suite 2, Connellsville, PA 15425. Thank you to everyone that has donated thus far and Merry Christmas.

Erin and I celebrated light up night and small business Saturday in Uptown Somerset. Took a break on the artwork by Conemaugh Twp. School District Art and CT student’s project, Heat and Snow Miser.

What better way to celebrate Small Business Saturday than a ribbon cutting for a new business in Connellsville! Congratulations to Jenna and Ryan Koontz for opening their business, Connfetti on the Yough, on Main Street, West Side of Connellsville. Thanks for your investment in the community!

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