Through a partnership with the state Department of Transportation, the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank was unveiled today by county and state officials.
The Dauphin County commissioners said they will use roughly $1 million in annual liquid fuels money to create the bank, which will leverage state money from PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank. The goal is to provide a maximum of $30 million over the next three years for low-interest loans for qualifying transportation projects, officials said.
“It’s a game changer for small municipalities,” Commissioner Jeff Haste said.
This is the first time PennDOT has worked with a county to create an infrastructure bank for municipal needs — something officials hoped could be replicated.
County officials said the bank was made possible because all 51 county-owned bridges have been repaired or replaced during the last 30 years.
The Duke Street Bridge between Hummelstown and South Hanover Township is the last bridge project in Dauphin County’s capital bridge management program. It should be done next year, so only routine maintenance will be needed on county bridges.
Municipalities and private companies will be able to apply for the DCIB loans. Similar to the distribution of the county’s share of gaming money, the Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board will review the projects through an open process that will include public hearings.
County engineer Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc. will oversee implementation of the projects, the county said.
As municipalities and developers repay the loans, the money will be returned to the bank to be used with future projects.
“It will make a difference for decades to come in Dauphin County,” PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said, calling transportation infrastructure the “backbone of our economy.”
Last year, PennDOT funded $14.9 million in projects through PIB, spokesman Steve Chizmar said. That number varies based on requests and carryover funds available from previous years, he said.
The commissioners said they are hopeful that this effort will spur development and redevelopment activity. The county launched a comprehensive redevelopment priorities list in 2011.
Applications will be accepted between May and August and the board will make funding recommendations to the commissioners in February. For more information about the process, call 780-6250.