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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Scarnati: New Transportation Funding Plan
Will Benefit Local Timber Industry

(News Release) The timber industry in Pennsylvania will soon see significant benefits as a result of the Commonwealth’s newly enacted Transportation Funding Plan, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

The Transportation Funding Plan was signed into law on November 25th, as Act 89 of 2013. The bill provides a comprehensive funding package to address the transportation needs of Pennsylvania, through an investment of over $2.3 billion in PA’s transportation infrastructure over the next decade.

“The timber industry is a vital part of my eight county district and is one of the many industries that depend upon a strong transportation infrastructure,” Scarnati stated. “The recently signed Transportation Funding Plan provides for much-needed maintenance, construction and safety upgrades for roads and bridges – all of which are crucial to our state’s future. As a result of this legislation the timber industry will no longer have to face the fiscal uncertainty and risk associated with state road closures and bridges being weight listed.”

“In addition, this funding will help to curtail skyrocketing road bonding costs which PennDOT had been assessing small timber companies throughout the region,” Scarnati proclaimed.

Scarnati explained that the timber industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in Pennsylvania, employing nearly 60,000 residents who work at more than 2,200 forest product processing and manufacturing operations across the state.

“Providing for a solid and stable transportation infrastructure will play an integral role in increasing economic growth and job creation, by offering businesses the reliability and assurance needed to grow,” Scarnati continued.

According to Scarnati, the bill will also benefit forest landowners in places like Potter County, which has seen less interest in timber products and a decreased price for timber. In some cases, purchasers have been placing no value on pulpwood because the cost or financial risk to move this material to market is too great. This improved situation for landowners applies to the timber sale revenue of DCNR and the PA Game Commission, resulting in a benefit to both Pennsylvania’s citizens and sportsmen.

“Families and businesses need to have confidence in state roads and bridges – especially in our rural areas where roadways are the primary way by which we travel,” Scarnati said. “I am pleased that as a result of enacting the Transportation Plan, we will offer industries the stability they need to facilitate strong economic growth across Pennsylvania.”

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