Westmoreland Development Council Newsletter
Westmoreland County Seal

Community Development

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
At the end of September, twenty-seven municipalities and non-profit agencies submitted proposals for CDBG funding in the Fiscal Year 2017. The staff of the Community Development Division evaluated proposals, conducted site inspections, and compiled a list of 19 projects totaling $2,993,652 to be recommended to the County Commissioners.  A series of public hearings will be held in January and February. The successful proposals will be included in the County’s annual Consolidated Plan, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in March 2017.  
 
Former Monessen Department Store Will Become An Apartment Building
Rehabilitation began on a rental housing project in Monessen. The structure, known as the Eisenberg Building, was formerly a department store in the downtown area and was donated to Mon Valley Initiative, a local nonprofit housing developer. The project involves HOME program funding, as well as county and state grant funds. The total estimated cost of the rehabilitation is approximately $1,800,000. When completed, the project will provide affordable housing for thirteen households, twelve of which will be low and moderate income. Rehabilitation is scheduled to take six months.

County Awarded PHARE Grant
In October, the county received notice from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency of a grant award of $150,000 under the PHARE program. These funds will be used in conjunction with $50,000 of County Act 137 funds to rehabilitate 16 rental housing units at the Shaner Heights Facility in Sewickley Township. The units are owned and operated by the Westmoreland County Housing Authority.

 
 
Shaner Heights Facility
PHARE and Act 137 funds will be used to rehabilitate 16 units at the Shaner Heights Facility.
Economic Growth Connection

Economic Growth Connection 

The mission of the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGC) is to provide businesses the guidance they need to develop new opportunities and assist them in securing financing that creates and retains quality jobs in Westmoreland County and the region. Acting as a conduit for the state loan programs, the EGC was able to apply and help secure Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loans on behalf of two companies.

Amcel Center, Mt Pleasant.
On August 3, PIDA approved a $400,000 capital improvement loan for the Amcel Center in Mt Pleasant. The loan was applied for by EGC on behalf of the Amcel Center and it’s management, The Gordon Family, and is expected to close in December 2016. The purpose of the loan is to install a building-wide fire-suppression sprinkler system, which will make this multi-tenant industrial facility more competitive in offering leased space in this section of the county. The Mount Pleasant – New Stanton area is attracting a lot of business interest and the Amcel Center, which provides low-cost industrial space will be better suited to attract business with this capital improvement.  EGC has previously assisted the Gordon’s in financing a multi-tenant facility, Amcel Center 2, located along the I-70 corridor in Belle Vernon.

 
Amcel Center
A state loan will be used for a building-wide sprinkler system at the Amcel Center.

TrafSys LP
The second PIDA loan was awarded to TrafSys LP (a real estate holding company) on October 5 in the amount of $246,000. TrafSys LP will use the loan to purchase a building located in Westmoreland County Industrial Park IV, in North Huntingdon Township. The building will become the home to Tucker AutoMation Supply Company, a startup manufacturing company, whose primary business is commercial doors and door opening systems. Tucker’s President & CEO, Patrick Mercier, has an established track record in this manufacturing sector, and this facility provides them the base for their operations in the United States.  EGC began working with Mr. Mercier in December 2015 when he was renting space in a neighboring county but was looking towards Westmoreland County in establishing a headquarters for his new company. 

 
West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund

EGC Helps Bring Net Zero Homes to PA
The EGC also serves as the financial administrator for the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF). WPPSEF's mission is to invest in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies that benefit the ratepayers of West Penn Power. Recently, WPPSEF provided funding to the State College Community Land Trust for the construction of some of the first Net Zero homes in Pennsylvania. Net Zero homes are regular grid-tied homes that are built so airtight and well insulated and are coupled with a renewable energy power source, that the homes return as much energy to the grid as they consume over the course of the year. The building technique is widely used in Europe, where energy costs are higher than it is in the United States. WPPSEF approved a $350,000 loan to the State College Community Land Trust for the construction of two NetZero homes in order to introduce the building technique to Pennsylvania.

To learn more about the EGC and how they can assist your company, please visit their website: www.egcw.org 

Westmoreland County IDC Logo

Industrial Development Corporation

Jeannette Redevelopment Project
As site development work continues at the location of the former Monsour Medical Center located along the Route 30 corridor in Jeannette, the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) is taking the next steps in marketing the property. In the first quarter of 2017, the WCIDC will invite developers to submit RFPs for commercial development possibilities at the developed site. If you would like to receive notification of the RFPs, please send an email to wcidc@wpa.net

 
Route 30 Development Parcels
The WCIDC will invite developers to submit request for proposals in the first quarter of 2017.
Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland

WCIDC announces Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland
The WCIDC is in the final permitting stages for the county’s newest industrial park, Commerce Crossings at Westmoreland. This park is at a prime location for development adjacent to Interstate 70, just southwest of the county’s major transportation hub at New Stanton. Direct rail access at the site allows new opportunities for companies looking to locate or expand in the region. This park will also be a prime location for businesses locating to Southwestern PA as a result of Shell’s construction of an ethane cracker in Beaver County. Call 724.830.3061 or email wcidc@wpa.net for more information on Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland.           

Company Spotlight
With its expansive area, access to major transportation arteries, comprehensive industrial park system and strong work ethic, Westmoreland County has the business climate to assure success.  That's why so many companies have grown strong right here. WCIDC is highlighting those stories in our Company Spotlight.

Our latest spotlight landed on Cleaveland/Price. In 1975, Charles Cleaveland started the business in his North Huntingdon home. Today the switch engineering and manufacturing firm is shipping its product across the globe. Read the full Company Spotlight here. 

 

WCIDC Industrial Park Tenants in the News
On December 13, Philips Respironics held a grand opening ceremony for their new distribution and service center in Westmoreland Distribution Park North. The 260,000 SF facility was built and put into operation in a quick nine months. The building was one the region’s largest industrial development projects this year. You can read more about the center here and view the construction from the beginning on the WCIDC's Facebook page.

E.A. Fischione Instruments’ David Casuccio

Congratulations to E.A. Fischione Instruments’ David Casuccio for being named CFO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Casuccio joined the company in 1999. “At the time, we had 20 employees; now we have 80. Growing a company is difficult, but it’s rewarding to see it happen,” he told the Pittsburgh Business Times. Read more.

Fischione Instruments in located in WCIDC’s Industrial Park III.

Reimagining Our Westmoreland

Planning Division

Reimagining Our Westmoreland
Time to get involved! The Planning Division is currently in the community outreach phase of updating the county’s Comprehensive Plan, Reimagining Our Westmoreland. When finished the plan will serve as an official guide for land use and development over the next 10-20 years. The Department is happy to report that so far over 150 community members have attended workshops held in November and December. An additional 1,417 people have taken the online surveys. It is important to get involved in all the Comprehensive Plan activities.The Get Involved page of the Reimagining Our Westmoreland website describes all the opportunities available to give your input, including public meetings, online surveys, and an interactive mapping tool. The News & Updates page will list meeting dates and times throughout the process as they are scheduled. Finally, materials from meetings and drafts of Plan documents will be posted on the Documents page as they are created and updated.

To learn more about the changes that are driving this Comprehensive Plan check out this video. Don’t forget to “like” the Reimagining Our Westmoreland on Facebook and receive updates on the project directly to your newsfeed. 

Laurel Valley Transporation Improvement Project
The Planning Division is assisting in the Laurel Valley Transportation Improvement Project (LVTIP) feasibility study. The LVTIP is designed to enhance safety throughout the corridor and provides routing/trucking options to the Latrobe area and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. Other benefits of the project include reducing traffic congestion at the New Stanton turnpike interchange and along Route 30. A committee of Key Stakeholders met twice in October to discuss four alternative improvement concepts as designed by project consultant McCormick Taylor. A public meeting was held in November and drew more than 110 residents, businesses, and municipal officials to present the alternatives and solicit feedback.  The LVTIP team, including consultant McCormick Taylor, PennDOT District 12, and the Westmoreland County Department of Planning and Development are currently reviewing and compiling input received from those meetings.  

Redevelopment Authority/Land Bank

The Redevelopment Authority and the Land Bank have formed some exciting new partnerships this year, leading to some great community projects. Below you’ll find some of the finished projects, while many more are on the horizon. 

The Redevelopment Authority and the Land Bank

Wayne Avenue, Greensburg
The house at 416 Wayne Ave. in Greensburg was starting to be engulfed with the foliage and unnoticeable from the road when the Land Bank acquired it. Since the acquisition, the Land Bank has started rehabilitating the two bedroom house. The yard has been cleared the interior was cleaned, re-painted the exterior, and updates were made to the kitchen and other fixtures in the house.

Wayne Avenue Home

Penn Park, Mt Pleasant
At the corner of West Main Street and Cherry Avenue in Mt. Pleasant Borough once sat the former Penn Theater building. The dilapidated building was razed in 2013 by the RACW and has since been transformed into a parking lot and park. The overall concept honors several historic periods. Mt. Pleasant’s past history is told through plaques on the pillars and the iron arch/lighting depicts the 1940’s era, representing the building’s marquee that once sat there. “Penn Park is a living park, which will continue to grow with the imagination of the community and is dedicated to the enjoyment and education to all who visit here,” said Mt. Pleasant Borough Manager Jeff Landy.

Penn Park in Mt. Pleasant

Hermine Park, Sewickley Twp.
The Land Bank was able to acquire the dilapidated house at the main intersection in Hermine, Sewickley Township. The agency oversaw the demolition of the home, and from that point a local Eagle Scout troop took over the project installing benches and a flagpole. Sewickley township was partnered with to take over long-term stewardship. 

Hermine Park, Sewickley Twp.

These projects are some examples of how the Redevelopment Authority and Land Bank are helping to deter and stop blight in our communities across Westmoreland County every day. Visit their website for more updates: www.westmorelandredevelopment.com

WANT Job Fair and Expo

Attention Area Employers! 
Don’t miss the next WANT (Westmoreland Assists Native Talent) Job & Career Expo. It takes place on Wednesday, February 22, from 1-4 pm at the Ramada Greensburg – Hotel & Conference Center. You can register your company at www.wantexpo.org. Pre-registration deadline is February 15. 


Happy Holidays
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