Our Town Foundation of Hamburg gets $200,000 grant from Pa.
Hamburg will soon have a new space to hold community events.
Local officials and community volunteers gathered Thursday to outline the impending transformation of an empty lot along State Street into a recreational spot and celebrate a $200,000 state grant that will help make the project possible.
The grant was awarded through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development to Our Town Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Hamburg.
“These state grants are very difficult to obtain, for the demand is very great,” state Sen. Dave Argall told the crowd at event. “For many years, I have supported the request to create this new public square in downtown Hamburg to provide new economic opportunities — like more space for the Taste of Hamburger Festival — to continue the ongoing revitalization of downtown Hamburg. We have finally received the approval for this long-sought goal.”
Deena Kershner, executive director of Our Town Foundation, said the goal in developing the State Street lot is to increase economic vitality by providing additional recreational opportunities like live entertainment at the site.
“By hosting regular events on the lot, there will be an increase of pedestrian foot traffic into the nearby businesses,” she said.
The development of the lot includes the construction of a building that will feature a stage, a concession stand and storage space for event equipment. It will also provide additional parking.
Kershner said the new building will support a wide variety of community events once completed. One of those events will be the annual Taste of Hamburger Festival.
“The Taste of Hamburger Festival Committee is very appreciative of receiving this grant and wants the residents of Hamburg to know that all festival funding will remain in the community for their enjoyment,” said Sandy Christman, who serves on the festival committee.
State Rep. Jerry Knowles said he was pleased the state decided to support this worthy cause. He said that the addition of this project is sure to have a big impact on the borough.
“I’m happy to see the funds be awarded for this important project,” Knowles said. “I’m certain the development of the public square will be a great benefit to this well-run community.”