Commissioner Moskowitz represents county at White House conference

Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz (center) represented Chester County at the White House last week, along with fellow PA County Commissioner Chairs (from left to right) Michael Pipe of Centre County, Dr. Monica Taylor from Delaware County, Dr. Val Arkoosh from Montgomery County, and Bob Harvie from Bucks County.

Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz represented Chester County last week at the Communities in Action: Building a Better Pennsylvania forum that brought together elected officials and community leaders from across Pennsylvania at the White House to share information on how investments provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are already benefiting Chester County residents, and will continue to do so for years to come.

“It was a privilege to be invited to represent Chester County at the White House,” said Commissioner Moskowitz. “It was an incredible experience, and I came back energized by the amazing work that has already been done.  I was able to share with White House Officials and other PA counties the exciting work that Chester County is doing, and I gained insights from my colleagues across the Commonwealth about programs that could be put into action here in Chester County.”

“Funds from ARPA are already strengthening our economy and overall health after COVID took its toll,” added Commissioner Moskowitz.

Some of the projects benefiting from ARPA funds that Commissioner Moskowitz shared at the forum include:

  • Major investments in Chester County’s Mental Health Crisis Response System supporting crucial – but previously cost-prohibitive – programs and services that have been on the wish list of the County and many community partners, especially because of the impact of the pandemic. ARPA funds are enabling the County to allocate $10 million to establish the 988 Mental Health Crisis Call Center; recruit, train, and deploy mobile mental health crisis teams when situations with law enforcement or other first responders could otherwise escalate and lead to incarceration; and begin planning for a County mental health urgent care center.
  • The Supporting Work Enclave through Chester County OIC – a paid ambassador program for residents in Coatesville which includes a competitive interview process for community clean up jobs that pay a sustainable hourly wage, provide work readiness skills, and that offers the chance to move forward for local jobs with great pay and benefits.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) was only recently enacted, but Chester County, along with Montgomery and Berks Counties, will be applying for grants to support the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority, bringing back passenger rail service from Reading to Philadelphia with strategic stops along the way in Chester County.  Additionally, BIL grant applications have been submitted by Chester County for its county-owned bridges, through federal bridge investment programs.

The federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is still being rolled out but will provide the opportunity to make historic investments in areas like clean energy and disaster preparedness that will mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events like Hurricane Ida, which caused so much damage in the County last year.

“I am incredibly proud of the work we have already done to better the lives of Chester County residents using these federal funds,” said Moskowitz, “but our work is not yet complete. The new funds coming in from the BIL and the IRA will provide tremendous opportunities for us to work together to build a brighter future for Chester County. We’re just getting started.”

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