Westmoreland Development Council Newsletter
Seal of Westmoreland County

Community Development

CPD Formula Programs Allocation Announced 
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the Fiscal Year 2019 allocations for the Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula programs, which provide funding for housing, community and economic development activities, and assistance for low and moderate-income persons and special populations across the country.

The appropriation of $4,597,567 to Westmoreland County included The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) appropriation of $3,436,823, HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program appropriation $871,414, and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) appropriation of $289,330. You can read more about the programs here

The Community Development Division will submit its FY 2019 Annual Action Plan by June 14, 2019, for HUD’s review and approval. The municipalities and non-profit agencies that were incorporated within the plan will be notified by staff of the Community Development Division when allocations will be available to initiate projects.

Pennsylvania ACT 152 County Wide Demolition Program (DEMOFUND)
In March, the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners announced awards provided to eight local municipalities for the first round of funding under the Act 152 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 countywide. The Department of Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Redevelopment Authority, evaluated and scored each application. The local municipalities that were awarded are as follows:  Avonmore Borough, Derry Township, South Greensburg Borough, City of Monessen, Rostrevor Township, Youngwood Borough, New Stanton Borough, and the City of Jeannette.

The county will enter into an Agreement with each local municipality that was awarded, and the Redevelopment Authority will provide program delivery services for the demolition of the structures.The next round of funding will be announced later this year.

Demolition of a home
The Act 152 County Wide Demolition Program was established to help remediate blight and alleviate the costs associated with the demolition of abandoned and blighted properties countywide.  
Economic Growth Connection

Economic Growth Connection

EGC Assists Local Company with Expansion Project
Product Evaluation Systems Inc. (PES), an independent, full-service mechanical, non-destructive, metallurgical and chemical testing lab, is expanding its Unity Township plant thanks in part to the EGC’s efforts to help alleviate an expansion obstacle.

EGC, along with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC), assisted Unity Township Municipal Authority in preparing a grant application, through the PA Small Water and Sewer Program, to bring sewer service to a section of Unity Township previously not serviced.

“The award of the $425,000 Grant will eventually bring sewer service to four businesses and support over 300 jobs,” said EGC Business Development Officer Greg Daigle. “This was a coordinated effort between many partners and it wouldn’t have happened without the assistance of Senator Kim Ward’s office, the WCIDC, the Governor’s Action Team, as well as the businesses and the municipality.”

PES, through EGC, has made an application for funding through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Program (PIDA) for a 10,000 SF building expansion and equipment needed to keep up with the growing demands of the company. “This project will help us add new test capabilities for continued growth. Can’t thank the EGC and WCIDC enough for the support along the way,” said PES President, Walt Moorhead.

“EGC is delighted to play a role in the PES expansion” commented Daigle. “We appreciated the efforts of business owners like Walt, who continue to make Westmoreland County a vital growth area within the Commonwealth.”

Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation

Industrial Development Corporation

53 Acres under Agreement at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland
An option agreement between WCIDC and Al. Neyer was approved in February for approximately 53-acres located at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland in Sewickley Township.

The WCIDC is currently in the initial development phases, and once finished the 206-acre industrial park will feature five pad-ready parcels ranging in size from 18 – 30 acres. With the execution of the option agreement Al. Neyer intends to purchase Lot 3 (containing approximately 25.896 acres) and Lot 4 (containing approximately 27.957 acres).

Al. Neyer intends a phased approach to construction at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland building an approximate 240,000 SF speculative warehouse/distribution building on Lot 3, and then a 233,000 SF speculative warehouse/distribution building on Lot 4. Each building will be designed to accommodate more than 200 employees.

Read more about the development and take a virtual tour here

Work Enters Final Phase at Jeannette Glass Site
The final phase of work began in April at the Jeannette Glass site. Currently, a portion of Old Bull Run Tunnel running from Bullitt Avenue to Cassatt Avenue is being daylighted. The daylighting will result in the naturalization of the stream channel, and any viable material removed during the process will be used to build landscape mounds. Additional work will include the replacement of a pipe from Cassatt Avenue to Brush Creek. Curry & Kepple Inc. will perform work at the site.

Funding Received for Rail Projects
Trains haul freight over 5,000 miles of rails in Pennsylvania, and to help maintain this asset PennDOT’s Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) provides financial assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure across the Commonwealth. In April, the WCIDC was awarded a $1.5 million grant to improve the Radebaugh Subdivision, including rehabilitating approximately a half mile of track, replacing two turnouts and constructing two sidings. 

SWP Train at Youngwood
The WCIDC has been awarded $1.5 million in Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) funding.
Reimagining Our Westmoreland

Planning Division

Planning District Process to Begin in June
Building off of recommendations in the new Comprehensive Plan, Reimagining Our Westmoreland, the County Planning Division will begin implementing a key strategy designed to address fragmentation in June. The aim of the Planning District Process is to help communities in each of the seven Planning Districts of the County to set a course of implementation and coordination with the County.

Throughout the public engagement process for Reimagining Our Westmoreland, residents shared the belief that the comprehensive plan needs to align with local, municipal priorities to be effective. With 65 municipalities across the County, doing that in a meaningful and efficient way can be a challenge. Additionally, the Planning District strategy recognized that many issues in the plan, like transportation choices and housing options are regional issues that deserve a regional perspective and regional solutions. For example, many residents may live in one community, work in another, and shop, dine and recreate in others, still.

The first area identified to begin the process is the Alle-Kiski region encompassing the townships of Allegheny, Upper Burrell and Washington; the boroughs of East Vandergrift, Hyde Park, Oklahoma, Vandergrift and West Leechburg; and the cities of Arnold, Lower Burrell and New Kensington.

 
Planning Districts
In June the Planning District Process will begin in the Alle-Kiski region.

Integrated Water Resources Plan Approved by Commissioners
Slated for June 27, the Westmoreland County Commissioners plan to adopt the Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) which aims to advance sustainable water resources, encourage partnerships for water resource planning, provide accessible information about stormwater, and help meet regulatory mandates for managing water resources.

Principally developed by the Westmoreland Conservation District, the IWRP took over four years to develop and built off of work finished in 2010 to comply with the Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Act (Act 167 of 1978). Based on feedback from hundreds of residents, municipal leaders, engineers, developers and natural resource agencies, the IWRP offers 25 strategies to address the issues of water resource management across the County. With 2018 having the highest recorded rainfall totals on record, the need to manage its impact—from flooded towns to combined sewer overflows—is all the more apparent.

Municipal leaders will likely find value in the model stormwater management ordinance that helps communities tailor their own approaches to dealing with stormwater runoff. Backed by extensive research and hydrologic modeling for key watersheds, the ordinance will help our communities craft stormwater regulations that address needs with the lowest regulatory burden.
 
Transforming Neighborhoods Training Coming to Westmoreland in June
On June 25, the Realtors Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley will host the Center for Community Progress at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg for a training session focused on neighborhood transformation. The full-day seminar brings national experts to our communities to help pave a way forward on revitalization. Place based trainings equip our communities with the knowledge and skills needed to strengthen their revitalization work. Expected session topics will cover the basics of real estate markets and harnessing data to make targeted, informed decisions, among other topics.

The training session is the right opportunity for:

  • Local Municipal Leaders
  • Realtors
  • Property Managers
  • Housing Professionals
  • Landlords
  • Code Enforcement Officers
  • Municipal Solicitors
  • Community Development Professionals
  • Planners
  • Civic Organizations

Registration is free and includes a full day of classroom instruction and lunch. Costs for the training are being offset through a grant from the National Association of Realtors, which the local Realtors Association applied for and were awarded.

To register, please click here. Registration closes on June 19. To view the agenda, please click here.

For more details and information on registration, contact Lindsay Neary at wrealtora@gmail.com or Brian Lawrence at blawrenc@co.westmoreland.pa.us

 
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland and Westmoreland County Land Bank

Land Bank Sells Greensburg Property for New Co-Working Space 
The Westmoreland County Land Bank has sold 319 S. Pennsylvania Avenue to JS Penn, LLC., for the development of “Fourth and Penn” - a new co-working space in downtown Greensburg.

Interior renovation plans consist of transforming the building into a co-working space available to renters at a low cost, monthly subscription. This will entice startups and smaller businesses to locate downtown by providing a flexible workplace option instead of renting an entire office.  The planned renovation has space for five tenants upon completion, slated for Fall 2019. JS Penn has completed other revitalization projects in downtown Greensburg, such as the renovation of 434 Main Street. 

With foundation funding, the Land Bank acquired the 2,800-square-foot structure in 2017, stabilized the building and added a new roof to actively market the corner building for private reuse. Constructed in the 1800’s, this property has much of its original design elements still in place. Maintaining its structural integrity was important for the Land Bank to ensure the building would keep these historical attributes and transform into a productive reuse for the City. 

Sought After Greensburg Site Ready for Development
130 Depot Street, Greensburg 
Suggested Minimum Bid: $100,000

After the Land Bank acquired the vacant structure, the property at 130 Depot Street was demolished, clearing the site for reuse.  The two-parcel, 0.5-acre lot situated in close proximity to downtown Greensburg, Excela Health Westmoreland, and 0.8 miles to Route 30, making 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. The property consists of grass lot as well as adjacent gravel lot expansion seen below. 

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

Sutersville Park Receives New Playground Equipment In Place of Blight
The Westmoreland County Land Bank and Sutersville Borough are pleased to announce the installation of new playground equipment at Sutersville’s community park.

The “Play Express” set is a four piece train play set, representative of Sutersville’s history. The New addition sits on the expansion section of the already established playground. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland made the expansion possible by demolishing a long-time abandoned, overgrown structure, clearing the blight for community recreation.

Grant funding for the project was provided from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Monies went towards the tanker car and engine car purchase, the first two pieces of a continuing set. Safety material was also installed.

The train set is aimed towards the 2-5-year-old age group, making the park now inclusive to all ages, with the current playground equipment geared towards older children. Businesses or individuals are still able to donate toward the purchase of remaining train sections and will be commemorated by an engraved plaque. Interested parties, please contact Shelby Michalek, Marketing Coordinator, directly at 724-830-3085 or smichale@co.westmoreland.pa.us.

Sutersville Park
Before: Blighted structure adjacent to the park was creating an unattractive and unsafe environment
Play Express” set at Sutersville Park
After: The “Play Express” set is a four piece train play set, representative of Sutersville’s history
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