Marla Brown in hearing

State Rep. Marla Gallo Brown (R-Lawrence) hosts a Republican Policy Committee meeting at the Crane Room Grille in Neshannock Township.

Transportation and infrastructure were key points of discussion during a Republican Policy Committee hearing March 9.

The hearing, hosted by state Rep. Marla Gallo Brown (R-Lawrence) at the Crane Room Grille in Neshannock Township, allowed residents and officials to comment on the quality of Pennsylvania’s infrastructure and its effect on the state’s economy.

“Our economy needs reliable infrastructure and transportation to connect supply chains and efficiently move goods and services to different locations,” Brown said. “It connects households across the state to higher quality opportunities for employment, health care and education. Demographic and cultural changes, such as aging and diversification of our communities and shrinking households, underscore the need for new transportation to connect people and communities.”

Chad Marsilio, senior vice president and chief operating officer at PGT Trucking in Aliquippa, testified that Pennsylvania’s infrastructure received a “C-” grade in 2022 from members of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“Pennsylvania has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country, and new construction efforts are continually delayed by increasing costs, parts and labor shortages and a growing backlog of emergency repairs,” Marsilio said. “Our state’s infrastructure is a vital part of the supply chain and transportation is one of the top industries that provides jobs, services and essential materials to support the economy.”

Scott Boyd, a board member with the ELLWOOD Group, said upgrades need to be made to the existing infrastructure so they can move products and supplies better.

“ELLWOOD employs 1,400 team members in the state of Pennsylvania, and everyone relies on road and highway infrastructure to make their way to and from work,” Boyd said. “The condition and state of repair of this infrastructure fluctuates between barely passable to adequate, depending on season and which government entity is responsible. Our Pennsylvania team members pay over $5.75 million in employment taxes each year to the state and are sometimes frustrated with the lack of attention to the local infrastructure.”

House Republican Policy Chair Josh Kail (R-Beaver) added that spending money wisely on infrastructure and transportation will create jobs and bolster the economy to attract more people to live and work in Pennsylvania.

Brown, in her first term as state representative, will serve on House committees for Health, Commerce and Aging, and Older Adult Services.

She will also hold “Coffee Hour with Marla” at 10 a.m. May 18 at The Confluence and at the Moco House at 206 E. Poland Road in Bessemer.

Each location will have a cap of 40 residents. To RSVP, call 724-498-4397.

There will also be a Small Business Roundtable at 8 a.m. April 20 at The Confluence, a Small Business Grant Seminar from 9:30 to 11 a.m. with a location to be determined later, and another damaged license plate event from 9:30 a.m. to noon April 28 at 28 N. Mill St.

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