Patton Township Honors Conklin for Efforts to Aid Residents Displaced by Sinkhole
The Patton Township Board of Supervisors on Wednesday issued a proclamation thanking state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, for his efforts to secure funding to assist residents of the Georgetown Park Community.
The Georgetown Park Community on Amblewood Way was affected by a sinkhole that opened up on Christmas Day 2022 as a water main that ran through the parking lot dividing the two rows of townhomes burst, affecting 18 units. After code officials, State College Borough Water Authority personnel and emergency responders arrived, residents were told that they had 30 minutes to evacuate, unaware it would be months before they could return.
Conklin helped the Georgetown residents receive a grant of $180,000 from the commonwealth to help with the costs to repair their homes, such as engineering, inspections, repairs, and temporary shelter.
“The Patton Township Supervisors do hereby send their sincere gratitude to Representative Scott Conklin for his persistent efforts to ensure funding and assistance to the residents of the Georgetown community,” board Vice-Chair Pamela Robb said in reading the proclamation. “Representative Conklin went above and beyond to ensure these residents would have some financial assistance as they recover from this ordeal.”
Conklin, who attended the supervisors meeting, was grateful for the recognition.
“I just wanted to thank you all … being this is something that someone in my position doesn’t get, so I want to thank you. But what the people really need to know is that this was done not only because of our office … but because of the staff of Patton Township. Without that information and without the board, the supervisors coming forward and getting this done as well, nothing gets done alone. It’s not done by accident. It’s done because of a lot of people, very good people who care about this work together and make it happen. So each supervisor, each staff member, I want to thank each one because that information, that working together made this happen… “
Conklin specifically praised Robb for her persistence in pursuing aid for the affected residents.
Maria Truglio, a property owner of one of the affected Georgetown townhomes, also thanked Conklin, his staff and the board members for their quick response.
“.. It was actually seven months to the day between when the sinkhole opened and when my property was officially uncondemned because of the extent of the repairs… and to be given a check in that amount to really help offset the enormous costs that that all entailed — like most of my neighbors, I think all but one, our insurance covered almost nothing. My insurance covered two and a half weeks in a hotel and that was it. So this is huge and it’s concrete and meaningful and it was done so professionally and so quickly. I feel like everyone here really moved mountains and I’m just incredibly grateful. They moved mountains in the right way, not like the going under way. So thank you so much.”
The supervisors also presented Nicholas Himebaugh, Conklin’s executive director, with a letter of appreciation as well for his efforts.
“What people don’t realize with Representative Conklin being busy as he is, he assigned one of his staff,” Robb said. “And to all of his staff we say thank you, but to Nick, who contacted and talked to the residents, talked to me on a consistent basis, I can’t begin to even tell you how this wouldn’t work without you so our board would like to thank you with this letter of appreciation.”
Himebaugh also credited Robb for her advocacy.
“Without Pam, none of this would have happened,” Himebaugh said. “She’s the absolute best advocate this community could ever have.”