Transportation secretary to tour Kent Friday

Record-Courier Staff Report Published:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be in Kent Friday to tour the construction site of the Kent Central Gateway, the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority's multimodal transit center at the corner of Erie and DePeyster streets.

LaHood will highlight the economic impacts of the $20 million grant for the transit center that spurred Kent's downtown redevelopment, in addition to President Barack Obama administration's investments in transportation across Ohio and the country.

Joining LaHood will be U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala and PARTA General Manager John Drew.

On July 9, 2010, LaHood visited Kent to sign off on the $20 million TIGER grant -- the first of more than $3.5 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery discretionary grants across the U.S.

Bryan Smith, PARTA director of planning, said during LaHood's 2010 visit, he toured Ron Burbick's Acorn Alley, the first major reinvestment downtown Kent, and saw the future sites of developments that have since been completed or soon will be.

"I look forward to pointing it all to him and having the opportunity to shake his hand, say thank you and we did what we said we'd do, and the taxpayer money has done what you said it would," Smith said.

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