Senator Santarsiero and Representative Galloway Announce $756,881 for Falls Township Traffic and Safety Improvements

BUCKS COUNTY – December 27, 2021 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Representative John Galloway (D-140) announced today Falls Township will receive $756,881 from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for traffic and safety improvements.  The funds will be used for upgrades at 7 intersections in Falls Township, which include:

  • Trenton Road and Andover Road,
  • S. Olds Boulevard and Queen Anne Drive,
  • N. Olds Boulevard and Trenton Road,
  • Lincoln Circle and Lincoln Highway,
  • W. Trenton Avenue and Woolston Drive,
  • W. Trenton Avenue and Alden Avenue, and
  • W. Trenton Avenue and Big Oak Road

“These traffic safety improvements will help keep drivers and pedestrians safe at busy intersections across Falls Township,” said Senator Steve Santarsiero.  “These upgrades will improve pedestrian access to shopping, schools and community attractions, while providing emergency response vehicles safer access to respond to emergencies.”

The safety improvements will include the installation of pedestrian signals at each intersection to alert vehicles and allow pedestrians the needed time to safely cross the roadway, as well as the addition of new ADA curb ramps. The township will also install preemption devices on all traffic signals at the intersections, aiding the safe passage of emergency vehicles regardless of existing traffic.

“These funds will help Falls Township make important upgrades at seven local intersections, improving traffic signals for drivers and helping pedestrians get around safely,” said Rep. John Galloway.  “Projects like these keep our community safe and improve access to businesses.”

Pennsylvania’s Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program aims to improve safety at signalized intersections by providing automated enforcement at locations where data shows red-light running has been an issue.  For more information on the ARLE program, visit the PennDOT website.

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Senator Santarsiero, Representative Galloway Announce $125,000 in State Funds for Local Park and Recreation Improvement Projects

BUCKS COUNTY – April 21, 2021 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representative John Galloway (D-140) announced the award of $125,000 in state funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for projects in Falls Township and Tullytown Borough.   The grants are awarded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority as funds authorized by Act 13. 

Falls Township will receive $55,029 through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program for improvements to the township’s roller hockey rink.  The project will make repairs to the existing rink, specifically installing new boards, repainting the surface and repairing existing fencing.

“I enthusiastically supported this project because the improvements to the Falls Township hockey rink will both encourage recreation, and drive economic growth with new revenue from rink rental and hockey league play funding park maintenance and future improvements,” said Sen. Santarsiero.

“I am pleased to see these funds going to improve the hockey rink in Falls Township,” said Rep. Galloway.  “This project will be a boost to the community, providing recreation and a much-needed facelift to the rink.”

Tullytown Borough will receive $70,000 through the Watershed Restoration Protection Program for the construction of two rain gardens and a vegetate swale, which will help improve the impaired watershed of Martins Creek.

Sen. Santarsiero supported the project saying, “The rain garden and vegetated swale improvements to the community park in Tullytown is a great example of using native plants to help contain runoff from the creek.  I was proud to advocate for this project, to protect and restore the creek which also helps to preserve local habitats.” 

“The grant for Tullytown to improve the community park will help both preserve the creek and make the park more enjoyable for residents.  Our parks and waterways as an important part of my district, and I am always happy to support projects that help them thrive.”

Act 13 Program Funds come from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for statewide initiatives that include abandoned mine drainage abatement, abandoned well plugging, sewage treatment, greenways, trails and recreation, baseline water quality data, watershed restoration, and flood control.  For more information about Act 13 Programs, visit the DCED website.

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Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Warren and Galloway Call on Governor Wolf to Increase Funding for Morrisville School District

MORRISVILLE − May 1, 2020 − State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representatives Perry Warren (D-31) and John Galloway (D-140) held a virtual press conference today to discuss the critical need for funding to support Morrisville School District.  They were joined by representatives of Morrisville School District and Morrisville Borough.

The legislators called on Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to review demographic data that has been used to calculate the state funding Morrisville School District receives. The shortfall in funding stems from an unintended consequence in the way that both the existing and new funding formulas are calculated for Morrisville (a conclusion supported by the fact that even under the new, so-called fair funding formula, Morrisville actually receives less support from the state than under the older allocation). 

For the 2020-21 fiscal year, the formulas are based in part on a projected 5-year median household income in Morrisville of nearly $75,000, well above some of the most challenged districts in the state.  But that number is not accurate.  It is not limited to the income of people living within the municipal – and, therefore, school district – boundaries of Morrisville Borough.  Instead, it includes large numbers of residents in nearby Lower Makefield Township and Yardley Borough, who share the 19067 zip code with their neighbors in Morrisville.  When looking only at Morrisville residents, the median household income drops to $53,000.  As a consequence of this issue, Morrisville School District has been unfairly underfunded for a number of years.

“Despite the school board’s prudent management of the district finances, Morrisville School District continues to suffer blatant inequity due to a calculation error in the funding formula. Through no fault of their own, the students, teachers, and support staff of Morrisville are forced to bear this burden,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “There is a constitutional obligation to provide ‘a thorough and efficient system of public education’ to all of Pennsylvania’s children, and even during our current public health crisis, this remains one of our most important responsibilities and is why we’re requesting this critical assistance.”

“The funding formula deals with 500 different school districts in an incredibly diverse state,” said Rep. Galloway. “There are going to be anomalies, and one of those was Morrisville.”

Since 2015, Morrisville School District and its elected officials in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, have been working with the administration of Governor Wolf to provide Morrisville’s schools with $1 million in supplemental funding each fiscal year to help close the gap.  However, even with this supplemental funding, it is increasingly difficult for the district to survive.  For example, in the 2020-21 school year, the district is faced with a budget deficit of close to $1.2 million.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the Morrisville school district, reading to the kids at Grandview, walking the halls of the high school with Superintendent Harris and Board President Miller, attending football games and other events, and it is a special place,” said Rep. Warren.  “The $1 million extra funding is more than a band-aid, it’s a bandage, but it is and always has been a short-term fix.  We need a real long term funding solution.  Our kids deserve to continue to have the great educational and co-curricular opportunities that we, the board, administration, teachers and staff, and the community have worked so hard to provide for them.”

“Morrisville is more than just numbers,” said Morrisville Superintendent Jason Harris.  “In spite of the volatility in the costs to educate students and meet mandated costs, our Board, staff and administration have supported programs which have yielded some remarkable results… School budgets are a constant source of strain and stress on any district.  However, in Morrisville, with its limited tax base and other streams of revenue, spikes in Special Education costs put an even greater strain on an already strapped resource. The District often relies on the use of grants to support programs.”

“Despite the efforts Morrisville School District has made regarding educational opportunities and facility upgrades, the continuation and sustainability of those efforts are in jeopardy,” said Damon Miller, President of the School Board of the Borough of Morrisville. “The issues and effects of these trends the Morrisville School District faces are not ones that will stop at the school district borders.  As Morrisville declines, so too will neighboring communities as those effects bleed into our surrounding townships.  We are asking for the state to step in and provide assistance in not only helping the students of Morrisville receive an equitable education as their peers in surrounding districts, but also the Morrisville community as a whole.”

“Even though the district and the borough government are separate entities, we are attached at the hip,” said Ted Parker, Morrisville Borough Council President.  “The district has not been receiving what it should from the state.”

The funding issue has further been exacerbated during the Coronavirus pandemic, as distance learning replaced traditional classroom learning.  Nearly 600 of the over 800 students in Morrisville School District currently do not have the resources to participate in distance learning. Morrisville School District applied for the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant (CEEG) to help fund the purchase of Chromebooks and hotspots, but the application was denied, likely in part due to the same flaw in calculating the level of need in Morrisville described above.

In light of this discrepancy, Sen. Santarsiero, Reps. Warren and Galloway, and representatives from Morrisville Borough and Morrisville School District joined together in requesting assistance from the Office of the Governor, that an amount equivalent to what the district would have received under the CEEG program be granted to the school district as soon as possible so that Morrisville can purchase the needed equipment in time to cover the remainder of this school year.

The full text of the letter sent to Governor Wolf is available here.

The full recording of the press conference is available here.

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Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Warren, Galloway, Announce School Safety Grants

HARRISBURG – October 18, 2019 − State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representatives Perry Warren (D-31) and John Galloway (D-140) announced nearly $60,000 in grants will be awarded to schools in their districts through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office for Safe Schools.

The PDE announced $7.2 million in Safe Schools Targeted Grants, awarded to schools to prevent and reduce violent incidents. The grants are used to purchase safety and security-related equipment, and grants can be used to fund training for staff and police officers.

Bucks County Technical High School will receive $25,000 for the purchase of equipment, while Council Rock School District and Pennsbury School District will receive $19,783 and $19,900, respectively, for school safety programs.

“With these grants, our children have a greater opportunity to learn and grow in a safe educational environment,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “Improving school safety has been, and will continue to be, a constant focus for me. No child, teacher, or staff member should have to go to school in fear.”  

“Investment in schools is an investment in our future,” Rep. Warren said. “Anything we can do to protect our children and improve the safety of our schools remains one of my top priorities. These grants attempt to eliminate incidents before they happen, through training and the purchase of new equipment.”

“These funds will ensure that the students in our community can thrive in the safest setting possible,” Rep. Galloway said. “I’m confident that this will aid in creating not only a safer, but more productive learning environment.

The announcement came on the same day that Morrisville Free Library was awarded a $52,500 Keystone Grant to replace the slate roof on its 108-year-old building. 

PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; School Police Officer grants of up to $40,000; and School Resource Officer grants of up to $60,0000. Each grant is aimed to assist schools in reducing disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and learning.

You can learn more about grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Office for Safe Schools by visiting the department’s webpage

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Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Polinchock and Galloway announce Small Business Advantage Grants for Local Businesses

HARRISBURG, PA – May 8, 2019 – Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10), Representative Todd Polinchock (R-144), and Representative John Galloway (D-140), announced the award of $12,000 in grant funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) Small Business Advantage Grant program for a medical x-ray machine for New Britain Podiatry Associates and a boiler for Kim’s Greenwood Cleaners in Fairless Hills. New Britain Podiatry Associates and Kim’s Greenwood Cleaners were awarded $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.

“Environmentally focused grants like these can make a lasting impact for small businesses and consumers alike,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “With this funding, small businesses can provide even greater service to the community and better ensures the equipment being used is more reliable and less wasteful.”   

“Small business is the lifeblood of our community,” Rep. Polinchock said. “Partnering with DEP to promote smart, efficient business practices will build a climate of environmentally sound decision making that will benefit our citizens for years to come. I am thrilled to be a part of this.”

“I’m very thankful that two local businesses will receive this funding. This is a big step in creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly Bucks County while also bolstering our small business community,” Rep. Galloway said. “Our residents and business patrons alike will surely benefit from the positive, long-term environmental impacts this grant will provide.”

The DEP’s Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $9,500, to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment, or adopt waste reduction processes. Pennsylvania-based businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible to apply for these grants.

For more information on the Small Business Advantage Grant program, visit the Department of Environmental Protection’s website.

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Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Warren and Galloway Announce Grant for Morrisville Fire Company

BUCKS COUNTY – March 28, 2019  –  The Morrisville Fire Company was awarded $200,000 in state grant funding for a new fire engine, according to State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10), State Representative Perry Warren (D-31), and State Representative John Galloway (D-140). The new engine is a 2020 Pierce Arrow XT heavy duty rescue pumper with a 500-gallon tank and 2000 gpm pump.

“The service that Morrisville firefighters provide to the community is invaluable and will greatly benefit from the addition of this new engine,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “Ensuring local fire companies are equipped to handle the emergencies they face on a daily basis will continue to be a top priority of mine.”

“With this loan, the Morrisville Fire Company can purchase a new fire truck that is as top-notch as the men and women who volunteer for it,” Rep. Warren said.

“This engine will be a great addition to the Morrisville Fire Company and reflects my commitment to funding local emergency services,” Rep. Galloway said.

The Morrisville Fire Company applied for the grant through the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP) and is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

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