HAZLETON, PA – Hazleton Creek Properties LLC (HCP), the firm that is presently engaged in a major mine reclamation project in Hazleton, Luzerne County, PA, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to complete the second phase of a planned four phase project that entails the construction of train tracks for the transportation of clean and safe dredge material disposal to a current brownfield site slated for redevelopment. The announcement was made last week by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. The Commonwealth committed a total of $24.5 million for rail investments in 31 counties across Pennsylvania.

Upgrading and expanding our freight rail lines helps maintain service and also opens the door to greater business opportunities,” the Governor said in a statement. “These investments will help meet growing demand for freight rail service and also help ease highway congestion by reducing the number of trucks on our roadways.”

The quarter million dollar grant to HCP was welcome news for the company’s President, William F. Rinaldi. “I want to personally thank Governor Rendell for his unwavering support of this important redevelopment project that will improve the safety and quality of life for the residents of Hazleton. This company is committed, first and foremost, to protecting the environment and enhancing the natural beauty of this proud community. Securing the funding support from the state to build the rail infrastructure to transport the clean dredge materials needed to reclaim the dangerous, abandoned mine sites was a critical step in this process.”

The Hazleton Reclamation site is an abandoned mine site located directly off Interstate 81 and bounded by Routes 924, 309 and Broad Street. The site has been severely impacted by past deep and surface mining practices and encompasses more than 277 acres of un-reclaimed, abandoned mine pits and spoil piles. Portions of the site (approximately 50 acres) were previously used for disposal of municipal and industrial waste in several mine pits.

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The area is a Brownfield site and has been certified as a Designated Special Industrial Area (SIA) by the Governor of Pennsylvania, giving the site priority attention for remediation. The site has the capacity to accept over 10 million cubic yards of residual materials to complete the site reclamation. HCP is authorized to conduct the site reclamation/remediation using DEP-approved residual materials, including regulated fill, clean-fill from construction activities, and river dredge materials.

Once the primary site is reclaimed, HCP will engage in a larger effort to reclaim 250 acres of abandoned mine land adjacent to the city of Hazleton upon which the company plans to build the Hazleton Performing Arts Center. The Center will occupy approximately 80 acres in the middle of this site with other commercial development to the north and south. The Performing Arts Center will be a 20,000 seat facility (16,000 fixed, 4,000 lawn) with state-of-the-art offices, crew and dressing/lounge space for artists and their staff. Additionally, the Center will include 50,000 square feet of vendor/commercial space that is under roof in order to be convertible to convention space. This new venue will serve as a catalyst for the city of Hazleton for new economic development and generate increased tourism to Hazleton.

For more information, visit www.hazletoncreekproperties.com.