Restoration of Pa. parks fund sought

    A fund for Pennsylvania park projects was slashed in early spending proposals from the governor and state Senate.

    But it may have new life in budget talks, if House Republicans have any pull.

    Commonly called “the Keystone Fund,” a pot of money off to the side of the main state budget is dedicated to state and community park projects.

    It collects 15 percent of state tax revenue on things such as property sales and was created in 1993 with getting bipartisan support the blessing of a voter referendum.

    State Rep. Kate Harper says zeroing out the Keystone Fund would eventually mean less money for the upkeep of park facilities.

    “One of the things you’ve got to do is maintain your parks, your trails, your playground equipment, your ball fields,” said Harper, R-Montgomery. “You have to take care of those things, or they can’t be used. They’re unsafe.”

    Rep. Bill Adolph, who has a seat at the negotiations table as chair of the House Appropriations Committee, is advocating for the fund’s full restoration.

    But he’s not making any hard and fast promises. Adolph, R-Delaware, says he feels “comfortable” the fund will be protected, but “anything could happen.”

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