Thompson Adds $500,000 Clarion Project to House Funding Bill

June 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today announced  he requested the $500,000 for the Clarion Northwest Central Regional Interoperability Strategic Telecommunications Plan that has been included in a House funding bill.  The Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations measure for fiscal year 2010, which passed the House of Representatives last night, included the project.

“I’m very gratified to have the support of the House for an important new communication system in my district,” said Thompson. “The funds are provided under the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS.  This program helps law enforcement agencies across the country meet a range of community policing challenges. Having spent years as a volunteer emergency medical technician, I can attest first-hand to the importance of adequate communications systems for first responders.”

The $500,000 will create a joint communication system, located in Clarion, which will promote seamless interoperability among counties, hospitals, schools, regional, state and federal agencies including:   the Pennsylvania State Police, National Guard and Department of Transportation as well as the Federal Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Emergency Management  Agency.  Radio communications, along with broadband and internet connectivity, are vital elements to link the region’s telecommunications needs and allow the counties to continue to provide direct services and mutual aid.  The project will serve Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, and McKean counties.

Clarion County Commissioner Donna Hartle said, “This grant announcement is a start of interoperability efforts for the six-county region.  The effort by Congressman Thompson clearly gives the six-county region a viable start in providing necessary and critical infrastructure that will be of benefit to so many people.  We cannot thank the Congressman enough for understanding our needs in this 6-county region.”

 While House passage of the measure is an extremely positive sign, the funding must still be approved in the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice Science bill, and the measure must be signed into law by the President.