The Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) component of the broader Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and is rooted in a community strategic plan, collaborations with partners, and long-term business relationships. The goal is to create energy in the community by completing projects based on specific development needs in a targeted area that produce measurable outcomes. NPP is a long-term program that secures business commitments for five years, six years, or longer.
Our agency recently completed a five-year NPP project in Jeannette, PA. Each year of the project we applied to DCED for tax credits; local businesses, namely KeyBank and the Elliott Company, contributed financially to the project and were eligible to claim these secured tax credits.
The following projects were completed over the course of five years:
- Several signs were installed throughout the city as well as at the entrances. These signs are located near Grapeville, on Route 30, on S. Fifth Street, and more
- As part of the beautification process of Jeannette’s main business section of Clay Avenue, we also installed awnings above the windows of several business and painted some of the buildings. Sometimes all a business needs is a fresh coat of paint to give it a pleasant appearance!
- Several blighted buildings have been removed throughout the city
- We installed hanging flower pots and flags along Clay Avenue
- Several murals have also been painted on the sides of various buildings on Clay Avenue
- The wall in front of City Hall was old and crumbling and in desperate need of being replaced. In addition to the wall, we also planted fresh flowers in the flower boxes and installed a new directory in the front
- Vinyl signs were installed in the windows of numerous vacant buildings along Clay Avenue. This lends itself to a more pleasant appearance when a building is empty
- As part of blight removal, a dilapidated property was razed on the corner of South 7th Street and Clay Avenue, 12 inches of dirt was removed from that whole lot, and 12 inches of fresh top soil was put down. That space was then turned into a community garden run by Bridges of Jeannette
- Fencing was installed at two locations on Clay Avenue to hide unsightly empty lots
- Improvements were made to the Altman Road playground, e.g., bumps on the walking path were eliminated, a horseshoe pit was created, and the tennis courts were re-surfaced
- Once the site of several dilapidated buildings on Clay Avenue, one of which was damaged by a fire, an area was prepped for an amphitheater and parklet. Currently, the amphitheater is in the process of beingbuilt by Guardian Construction Management Services Inc. with electrical work being done by Pellman Electric Associates, LLC
We are currently in the process of a six-year NPP project in New Kensington, PA. Each year of the project we applied to DCED for tax credits; local businesses, namely BNY Mellon and UPMC Health Plan, contributed financially to the project and were eligible to claim these secured tax credits.
The following projects were either completed, or are in the process of being completed, over the course of the project:
- It was decided to not build an amphitheater, but instead build a community space that will house a farmers market, an open air market, and a community garden.
- We have selected a contractor who will design this community space and will assist with moving New Ken’s community garden to this new location.
- We are in the final stages of installing a large mural at the main entrance to the city. This mural was created with help from community members.
- We have also started the bid process to renovate the playground at Summit St. park.
- With the help of Forward Cities, approximately 15 small businesses received entrepreneurial training.
- We also razed three blighted properties.
Some of the goals were not met due to the COVID pandemic halting or changing the direction of some of the projects. For instance, the building facade improvement project entailed businesses submitting proposals to Forward Cities for these projects. However, once the pandemic hit, Forward Cities just decided to award the funds and let the businesses spend the funds however was best for each individual business.