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Two area mayors embark on road trip across PA

Mayors from Scranton and Williamsport took to the road for a cross-state tour talking to other mayors about American Rescue Plan Act funds.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter welcomed Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti to Billtown. The two met at Shaw Park in Williamsport to kick off their road trip across the state.

"We are showing how mayors are rebuilding Pennsylvania with American Rescue funds. We are on our way to the US Conference of Mayors in Ohio," said Cognetti.

"$65,100,000,000 split up and coming directly to each one of our cities. That is generational, and we can use that in a way that is going to have lasting effects," said Slaughter.

Cities across the country were given these federal funds to make improvements. Mayor Slaughter spoke about the upgrades made to Williamsport city parks, like splash pads and new basketball and tennis courts. 

"I am a big believer that this assists with public safety, neighborhood improvements because most of our parks are right in neighborhoods and just the overall quality of life," Slaughter added.

Mayor Cognetti told Newswatch 16 how Scranton is putting that money to use.

"We have done grants for child care, health care, wellness, mental and behavioral health grants. A lot on small business. We have a wage boost program where we are helping small businesses boost their wages to retain employees and stay open," she said.

The pair will be in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday night for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. On the way there, they plan to make a few stops and pick up more Pennsylvania mayors.

"The mayor and I are headed to Allentown to talk about stormwater. Tomorrow we will kick off in Lancaster to talk with Mayor Sorace about transitional housing. Then head to Harrisburg for a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Davis and then on to Pittsburgh and then Columbus," Cognetti added.

"Continue to learn from other mayors all over the country from small, mid, and large cities. See what is working, what is happening in their cities, and see what we can take back here for me in Williamsport or Scranton for Mayor Cognetti," Slaughter said.

The mayors will return from their road trip on Friday.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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