MARIANNA BOROUGH – Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) announced that Marianna Borough has received a $12,000 grant from The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition. The money will be used for the services of a local consulting firm, Downstream Strategies, to evaluate the former Bethlehem Mine No. 58 site for redevelopment as Miner’s Memorial Park.
“Southwest Pennsylvania was once an area that helped to build our state, but now it is a place where people can envision working and raising their families,” said Cook. “It seems only appropriate to turn this site into an area that would pay tribute to Southwest Pennsylvania’s rich history while also creating a fun future.”
The 29-acre mine yard site is adjacent to Tenmile Creek in Marianna Borough and has been closed since a fire occurred within the mine in 1988. The property is owned by the borough and intersects multiple reclaimed and un-reclaimed Abandoned Mine Land (AML) and post - Surface Mining Reclamation Act (SMCRA) mining features.
The redevelopment vision for the site includes a public park providing recreational space, as well as educational exhibits regarding the region’s rich history at the forefront of the coal industry and the local economy. Downstream Strategies will be providing technical assistance to the borough for development of a plan and cost estimate for park construction, completion of initial environmental and market assessments for the site, and applications for potential funding through other grant programs.
As tourism continues to increase in southwestern Pennsylvania, Marianna and other towns in the Mon River Valley stand at a crossroads of opportunity to play a major role in the region’s changing economy. The initial assessments and grant applications are expected to be completed by December.
“Our primary goal is to provide the borough with an actionable plan to transform the long-blighted mine yard into a public asset, something the community can be proud of,” said Joey James, principal at Downstream Strategies. “We want to honor the men and women who helped build southwest Pennsylvania and create a space for people from around the region to come and learn about the history of the Mon River Valley.”
Representative Bud Cook
49th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Michelle Swab