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CHAMBERSBURG — The borough has just received a big boost for its project to renovate and expand the Chambersburg Police Department.

Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will provide a $1.7 million grant for the project, according to Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-89, and Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-33, who were instrumental in obtaining the grant for the borough.

The grant will be used to partially fund the Chambersburg Police Department Renovation project – a comprehensive renovation plan to transform a portion of old Borough Hall into a facility exclusively for use by the department.

Borough Council President Heath Talhelm credited Kauffman’s and Mastriano’s strong leadership and support for the project with obtaining the grant.

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“Chambersburg has tried for many years to find a way to renovate our aging police station,” he said. “Thank you to our State delegation, our staff, the Police Chief, Mayor, and Borough Manager for securing this funding.”

The grant will “go a long way” toward getting the project underway, and completed, he said.

The renovation will transform an existing building into a state-of-the-art, secure police department. Borough officials said when it is completed, the “new” department will mean improved service and protection of residents, businesses, and taxpayers in the Chambersburg area.

The building, located at 116 S 2nd Street, will be redeveloped with enhanced accessibility, security and functionality upgrades. Once complete, the newly renovated facility will include offices and holding cells, conference rooms, locker rooms, interview rooms, a K-9 facility, a fitness room, and ample storage.

“Our men and women in blue work tirelessly day in and day out to protect and serve the public, and yet they have been doing so headquartered out of a facility that is no longer adequate to meet their needs.”

Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-89

He cited enhanced security of the building as a primary concern and one that the renovations will specifically tackle.

“I am pleased that this funding was approved, it will go a long way toward the $4.6 million total project cost,” he said.

Mastriano cited the fact that Chambersburg is the fastest growing borough in Franklin County. He said the grant will give the department the tools necessary to continue its mission.

“Police officers put their lives on the line every single day to protect and keep our communities safe,” he said. “As a person who dedicated much of my career to the United States armed forces, protection of our residents is extremely important to me.”

Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-33

The renovation will also provide the facilities needed to accommodate existing and potential future police officer positions. Currently, 35 officers and three administrative employees serve a population of 23,000, plus those who work in the borough.

Police Chief Ron Camacho praised the decision to upgrade police facilities.

“Increasing population and current trends in criminology, often associated with the opioid epidemic and related criminal activities, place a greater burden on our police force,” he said.

“This Project is focused on long-term functionality and should adequately handle the community’s police facility needs for up to 30 years.”

Police Chief Ron Camacho

He pointed out that the project creates greater efficiency while planning for the future.

The total cost of the project is projected at $4.8 million, based on a construction start date of March, 2021.

“Now that we’ve received this grant, we will complete the design, engineer’s construction estimate, and bid the project. So at this point, the project remains conceptual.”

Borough Manager Jeff Stonehill

This is funding the lawmakers fought for in order to improve security and enhance space for police operations in Chambersburg.

The grant money will be used to fund on-site infrastructure, demolition, expansion and renovation of the existing town hall for the Department’s use.

The project will give the department additional offices, a Sally Port, public waiting areas and conference rooms, interview rooms and holding cells. It will provide storage space for records, evidence and arms, a fitness room, locker rooms, public restrooms, and a K-9 room.

Roof replacement and clock tower, chimneys, and slate roof repairs are alternative project components.

“I want to thank Representative Rob Kauffman and Senator Doug Mastriano for their hard work in acquiring this valuable grant, which will be applied toward the renovation and expansion of our police department facility. The grant will offset about a third of the estimated construction costs of our important project. I also want to thank Senator Scarnati for his assistance and leadership in pursuing this grant.”

Walter Bietsch – Chambersburg Borough Mayor

The funding was awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) program, which is dedicated to the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

RACP projects are authorized by the Legislature in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act.

Projects must have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.

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