Westmoreland Development Council Newsletter
Seal of Westmoreland County

Community Development

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
The Community Development Division notified eighteen (18) municipalities in the county that they can award construction contracts for infrastructure projects funded under the FY 2018 Community Development Block Grant Program. These projects include street reconstruction, storm water facilities, sidewalk reconstruction/ADA ramps, and slum/blight removal. You can view a complete list here

At the end of September, twenty-three (23) municipalities and non-profit agencies submitted proposals for the Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Group (CDBG) funds.  The staff of the Community Development Division will evaluate submitted proposals and conduct site inspections to determine if the submitted project proposals meet Federal Regulation eligibility requirements.

In October, the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners announced applications were being accepted for a New County Wide Demolition Program. The program was established to help remediate blight and alleviate the costs associated with the demolition of abandoned and blighted properties throughout the county. The Community Development Division held a Q & A Session in November for all municipal officials and /or their engineers to attend to go over program guidelines, application submission and the approval process. The application deadline for the county’s first round of funds is January 1, 2019.  Guidelines and applications can be found here

Union Mission - Men’s Homeless Shelter, Latrobe
In July, site work began for the construction of Union Mission’s new Men’s Shelter in the City of Latrobe.  

The construction of the new 25-bed facility is underway, and the scheduled completion date is February 2019. The Union Mission’s beds for homeless men are the only ones of their kind in the county. The Mission serves an established and growing need in the county, as shown by recent market trends, and the new facility fits within the county’s ongoing homeless strategy. The project will have a significant and immediate positive impact on the community, both in Latrobe and in Westmoreland County.

Economic Growth Connection

Economic Growth Connection

Act 129 Energy Micro Loan Program
Economic Growth Connection announces a new energy loan program.

 Are you a West Penn Power business customer?

Considering or recently started an electric energy efficiency project?

Does the project qualify for rebates under PUC Act 129?

If the answer is “Yes” to the above, the project could be eligible for financing of up to $50,000 through our partnership with the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) . The loan is available to qualified businesses, nonprofits and municipalities and offers an easy 10-day approval process. The loan program will officially be rolled out in January 2019, and EGC Business Development Officer Greg Daigle reports that they have already closed one loan with a local manufacturing company that agreed to be the beta loan site for the program. “Not only did the company receive below market rate funding for their LED lighting project, but they also will be receiving a large rebate through the Act 129 Rebate Program”.   

EGC can assist interested companies with the determination of eligibility under Act 129, and with the easy application process. More information is available on the WPPSEF website.

West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund
Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation

Industrial Development Corporation

Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland Ground Breaking
The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) has officially broken ground at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland. The 206-acre site will be developed into the county's newest industrial park and will consist of five pad-ready sites each ranging in size from 18 to 29 acres. The park will accommodate the need companies have for pad-ready sites with direct access to active rail and the interstate highway system. 

Infrastructure work and land site development began at the beginning of December and is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2019. The WCIDC received a $1 million grant from Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, in addition to a $3.8 million grant and $5.8 million loan through the Business in Our Sites program to support the development efforts. Read more about the development and take a virtual tour here

Elliot Expanding to Jeannette Glass Site
Elliott Group has officially announced their intention to relocate manufacturing and testing of cryogenic pumps and expanders to the City of Jeannette.

The cryogenic pumps and expanders will be manufactured at Elliott’s global headquarters at 901 North Fourth Street. The testing will take place at a proposed facility located at the former Jeannette Glass property, which is currently owned by the WCIDC. 

In March, the WCIDC approved a resolution authorizing the sale of the property to Elliott. The company anticipates an increase to its workforce of approximately 110 to 140 as a result of this expansion. Construction is expected to begin in 2019, with operations to begin in 2020. 

Rendering of Elliott Cryogenic Test Facility
Rendering of proposed Elliott Cryogenic Test Facility 

Excel Glass Continues Expansion in Jeannette
Next to the Jeannette Glass site, Excel Glass, Inc. is undergoing their second expansion at the Jeannette Industrial Park. 

William P. Pecora, President of Excel Glass, recently purchased a 3-acre lot in the industrial park where he intends to build a 32,000-square-foot warehouse facility. Currently, construction efforts are underway on a 3,500-square-foot addition on Excel Glass’ existing Granite Division facility at the park. The first expansion took place in 2011, at that time the company added 10,000-square-feet of warehousing onto its existing 10,000-square-foot building. Read more about Excel’s long history of growth here.

Siemens Opens Pittsburgh Service Center
In November, Siemens celebrated the opening of the company’s new 300,000-square-foot Pittsburgh Service Center, located at RIDC Westmoreland. The $32 million state-of-the-art facility is home to Siemens Turbine Generator Specialty Services (TGSS), which supports approximately 150 employees working in the company’s large-scale turbine and generator business. 

Since moving into the new Mount Pleasant facility, Siemens has formed an apprenticeship program for machining and welding students with the Westmoreland County Community College’s (WCCC) Advanced Technology Center, also located at RIDC Westmoreland. 
The redevelopment of RIDC Westmoreland into a multi-tenant facility has been a joint effort between the Regional Industrial Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) and the WCIDC. 

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Siemens Pittsburgh Service Center
Siemens opened their 300,000-square-foot Pittsburgh Service Center at RIDC Westmoreland.

Manufacturing Day 2018
WCIDC spent Manufacturing Day 2018 visiting two local businesses, Pace Industries Airo Division and Technimark Latrobe. During the visits, the companies were honored for their continued investment in Westmoreland County. 

Technimark Latrobe recently broke ground on an 80,000-square-foot addition to its healthcare manufacturing facility, which will nearly double the size of its existing plant. 
 
Pace Industries Airo Division, located in Loyalhanna Township, is making a $4.8 million investment in their Powder Coat Operation facility. You can read more about the Airo Division in the latest company spotlight.

Technical Resources and Municipal Services Program

Planning Division

TRAMS
Youngwood Corridor Plan
Reimagining the Route 119 Corridor through Youngwood is nearly complete, as County Planners finalize a draft report of work completed over the past year and a half. Planners assessed and analyzed land use, conducted a cutting-edge State of Place analysis, examined parking needs, and inventoried blighted properties in the corridor.

Planners also led a local steering committee through a visioning process to determine the kind of place they want in the future. A conceptual rendering below demonstrates this vision for the future.

The Corridor Plan coincided with PennDOT’s preliminary engineering and design of Route 119 as they prepare to completely reconstruct 3rd and 4th Streets beginning in 2021. Major elements of that project include relocation of utilities out of the travel lanes and into parking lanes, calming traffic through curb extensions, chicanes, and additional green space. 

 
Rendering of Route 119 Corridor
A potential future for the Route 119 Corridor in Youngwood.

Monessen Blight Inventory and Mapping Project
County Planners will work with Mackin Engineering in the City of Monessen to complete a comprehensive inventory of blight throughout Monessen. The effort will include individual property assessments, documenting the nature of blight with photos, and finish with a comprehensive mapping of these properties. Such an effort will help the City understand the patterns of blight in their community and help them address it in meaningful ways. 

Work on the Monessen project and the Youngwood Corridor Plan is being completed under the County Planning Division’s Technical Resources and Municipal Services Program (TRAMS). The aim of the program is to connect local communities with the staff resources of county planners and to drive implementation of the new county comprehensive plan, Reimagining Our Westmoreland.

 
Reimagining Our Westmoreland

Comprehensive Plan
Progress
In November, the County Planning Department welcomed over 100 people to Megan’s Suite at the Palace Theater to grab copies of the plan and direct questions to the planning team. The next step in its adoption process is a public hearing scheduled for December 17th at 1:00 PM in the Commissioners Conference Room in the Courthouse, with adoption tentatively scheduled for December 20th at 10:00 AM in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Courthouse.

Planning Districts
One of the more innovative ideas generated from the comprehensive plan is the creation of sub-county, regional plans. The old adage of thinking globally and acting locally rings true here. The third element to that saying is, plan regionally.

Accomplishing the strategies and action steps for regional change requires partnership at the local level. Yet, with 65 municipalities, that partnership will remain elusive. Our attempt is to contextualize or localize the broad, county-wide recommendations in the comprehensive plan and tailor them for the specific circumstances of each of the seven regions in the county. 

By working with every community, within the framework of these seven planning districts, we can share the best practices that can help shape communities for a better future.

Beginning in 2019, we’ll start work in Planning District One, which encompasses Allegheny Township, Arnold City, East Vandergrift Borough, Hyde Park Borough, Lower Burrell City, New Kensington City, Oklahoma Borough, Upper Burrell Township, Vandergrift Borough, Washington Township, and West Leechburg Borough. 

Planning Districts
Seven regional Planning Districts have been incorporated in the comprehensive plan. 

Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Project
PennDOT, in partnership with Westmoreland County, FHWA and a consultant team, is finalizing the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase of Section 1: Route 819 to Norvelt of the Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Project (LVTIP). The Section 1 Preferred Option was refined to address some local concerns, make adjustments to the roadway alignment to improve safety, and reduce impacts to properties and environmental features. Next, the project will complete the environmental clearance document and then move into the Final Design phase, where the Right-of-Way clearance, approvals for environmental permits, utility clearance, and the final roadway construction plans will be completed.

The Key Stakeholders (KeyS) committee will continue to meet with the Project Team during the Final Design phase, and at least one public meeting will be tentatively planned in spring/summer of 2019.

For more information about the LVTIP, please visit the project website at www.laurelvalleyproject.com

Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Project
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland and Westmoreland County Land Bank

Redevelopment Opportunities
1608 Broad Street, South Greensburg $50,000
Formerly known as the Broad Street Dairy, this 4,600-square-foot structure offers plenty of new business opportunities! The storefront entry floor includes equipment, shelving & coolers from its most recent past use. Also features easy loading dock access in the rear alley. Located a half mile to a signaled intersection of Route 119. This neighborhood sees plenty of passerby traffic, perfect for business growth. The property also houses a separate-entry two bedroom, one bath apartment unit on the upper floor, providing rental property income or personal living space. 

130 Depot Street, Greensburg $110,000
Recently acquired by the Westmoreland County Land Bank (WCLB), this property was demolished, clearing the site for new reuse.  The two-parcel, 0.5-acre lot is situated in close proximity to downtown Greensburg, Excela Health Westmoreland, and 0.8 miles to Route 30, makes it a prime location for new business development. Positioned in the city’s Depot Overlay District, this area permits an abundance of options for the new owner.

130 Depot Street
Interested buyers, please contact Shelby Michalek, Marketing Coordinator directly at
 724-830-3085 or smichale@co.westmoreland.pa.us

Funding Available
EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant 
The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland (RACW) encourages prospects to inquire - private property owners, non-profits, and public entities are all eligible applicants. Brownfield examples include petroleum and hazardous contaminated sites such as manufacturing plants, gas stations, oil tank facilities, and auto garages. Notable local projects include Jeannette Glass, Bridgeport Street in Mount Pleasant, and Derry Business Park. Interested parties click on the link under the photo.

Accessible Housing Program
RACW also has funding available for its Accessible Housing Program - an initiative created through ACT 137 funding for low-to-moderate income citizens who are permanently disabled and in need of home modifications.  The program is inclusive of all ages and can provide either a ramp or stair lift to those lacking mobility freedom in their homes. Interested candidates can fill out the application here.

To learn more about all funding opportunities, please contact Shelby Michalek, Marketing Coordinator directly at 724-830-3085 or smichale@co.westmoreland.pa.us

Westmoreland County Land Bank Recognized in Statewide Publication
 The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania has released a comprehensive revitalization report describing the different problems and solutions throughout the commonwealth for blight management. When evaluating what practices communities are using to address such issues, the WCLB was acknowledged for their ambitious approach of producing economic assets. The publication highlights the WCLB’s major projects and success stories. Click the photo below for the full content.

Season's Greetings from the Westmoreland Development Council
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