Venango County Commissioner, Susan M. Smith receives the
Distinguished Leadership Award for an Elected Official
At this year’s PPA Conference held in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Susan M. Smith was
presented with the Distinguished Leadership
award for an Elected Official for her efforts in
revitalizing the County Planning Commission.
Susan Smith recognized that planning is more
than economic development and led efforts
to create a new county planning commission,
which has now taken the lead in regional
planning efforts. “Sue’s dedication to the
reorganization of the planning commission was
vital to the success of this department and her
continued support of planning issues and support of the Planners within the
department [made] her an admirable candidate for the nomination of the
Distinguished Leadership Award.” -Judy Downs, Director of the Venango County
Regional Planning Commission.
Venango County holds 1st Household Hazardous Waste Event
On September 23, 2006, the Southwestern PA Household Hazardous Waste
Task Force and the Venango County Regional Planning Commission sponsored
a collection event at the Cranberry Mall. Individuals representing nearly 400
local households dropped off more than 32,500 pounds of pesticides, pool
chemicals, paints, automotive fluids and other HHW materials. “Homeowners
typically find hazardous products in five areas of their homes: the kitchen,
bathroom, garage, workshop and garden,” said Dave Mazza of the
Pennsylvania Resources Council, which
administers the collection campaign.
“While hazardous products are safe to
use if you take the proper precautions,
problems generally arise when you use
or dispose of them improperly.” The
Venango County Regional Planning
Commission would like to thank the
Pennsylvania Resources Council,
Cranberry Mall, and the Seneca
Volunteer Fire Department for helping to
make this event such a success!
VCRPC will begin holding public hearings in preparation of the submission of a CDBG 2007 application.
Interested communities and non profit agencies are encouraged to contact planning staff to discuss the
eligibility of proposed projects. Following are outstanding projects from 2003 through 2006.
Venango County Community Development Block Grant 2005 CDBG
C FFY 2003 – 2006
D November 2006 Polk Sewer 56,781 (out to bid)
Rouseville Sewer 46,920 (out to bid)
B 2003 CDBG Clintonville Head Start Will be completed in 2006
G Cornplanter Sewer
Balance should be expended in 2006
Balance should be expended in 2006 2006 CDBG
2004 CDBG Polk Sewer 45,800
Pleasantville Water & Sewer 65,990.00 Rouseville Water 63,808
Clintonville Head Start Will be completed in 2006 Economic Development Activity 50,000
Emlenton Sewer 50,000
Total CDBG for 2007 budget: 330,897.50 *
A Venango County Affordable Housing Trust – Sheasley Upper Story Housing Project
Venango County faced a challenge in 2004. “How can we leverage public funding with
private sector dollars to adaptively reuse historic structures, comply with the UCC, and
accelerate full utilization of buildings?” A multiple-phased initiative is occurring that benefits 5
F O communities with the goals of economic revitalization, housing, historic preservation, and public
safety. The Route 8/62 corridor serves as the “Main Street” of these communities. The VCRPC
O U has partnered with the ORA, DCED, Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas Program, municipalities,
property owners, and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to address this challenge.
Phase I compiled an electronic data base of the ownership, history, condition, photographs,
etc. for every building and empty lot along the 14-mile study area. Landmark Design Associates
prepared adaptive reuse recommendations for 13 buildings. HRG, Inc. studied river-related
recreational development opportunities, and produced a set of CDs with a data base of every
structure in the Route 8/62 corridor for reference. This data is available in the VCRPC Office.
B G Phase II produced detailed engineering/architectural work-ups for 2 downtown buildings
L to provide subsidized rehabilitation construction, including required ADA and Public Safety codes. A combination of
grants and revolving loans were accessed by the project partners to complete one project. The pilot project from this
E effort is renovation of the upper story of the historic Sheasley building in Downtown Franklin into affordable housing
rental units. Whalen contracting was awarded the bid and the $195,375 project is underway!
Barkeyville Borough – Industry and Cooperation
The Industrial Park in Barkeyville Borough is active with construction
S of a new 120,000 square foot business bringing new jobs to the area.
P Groundbreaking took place in October with Venango County’s economic
O development agency, the Oil Region Alliance, noting that the new project
R “marks the beginning of our era of growth and prosperity”. The company,
U Team Hardinger, was enticed to open in the industrial park because the site
O was shovel-ready, had interstate and airport access and was a Keystone
T Opportunity Zone. Other businesses are lined up to follow. With this
J new activity, Barkeyville and the surrounding areas will need to look at the
E transportation assets.
E Initial discussions are occurring between Venango and Mercer Counties, the VCRPC, Barkeyville Borough, Pine
C Township, Grove City, and Springfield Twp; a Transportation Advisory Committee will be set up. An access manage-
R ment and traffic impact study is being discussed, which will determine methods of handling all of the new traffic from
T current and future projects. Once, the latter is finalized it will mark the beginning of formal cooperative efforts across
N county lines between Mercer and Venango Counties.
VENANGO COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION 814.432.9689 814.432.5885(fax)
Former Oil Boom Town Now Attracting Trail Users
Community Leaders Explore Economic Benefits
More than 30 citizens and state and local officials congregated in Emlenton’s Crawford Center on Thursday,
September 21, 2006 for the first day of a community workshop focused on turning Emlenton and Foxburg into “Trail
Towns.” The two-day workshop, “Emlenton and Foxburg, PA - Life after Oil - Toward a Renaissance of Former Oil
Boom Towns” helped officials and citizens explore ways of turning liabilities into community assets. Speakers included
representatives from PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Oil Region Alliance, The Delta Group,
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and local historians and elected officials. The workshop was organized by Emlenton and S
Foxburg Boroughs, the Allegheny Valley Trails Association, Venango County Regional Planning Commission and the P
National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Attendees were charged with taking the O
“next step” to start those programs and move forward. The speakers and other experts in attendance will be available R
to assist participants to implement the vision and strategies developed over the two-day event.
Allegheny Valley Trails Towns and the Main Street Program T
The Main Street program is a comprehensive, community-based revitalization approach, developed by the National J
Trust for Historic Preservation. Communities across the U.S. have applied its four key components with great H
success: Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape, capitalizing on assets such as historic
buildings. An inviting atmosphere is created through window displays, parking areas, signs, sidewalks, street lights,
and landscaping. Promotion means selling the image and promise of Main Street to shoppers, investors, and new
businesses. Effective strategies market the district’s unique characteristics through advertising, retail promotions, and T
special events. Organization means getting everyone working towards common goals. The program uses a N
common-sense formula of a volunteer-driven program and an organizational structure of board and committees
assisting a Main Street manager. Economic Restructuring means existing businesses get help to expand and new
businesses are recruited. A five-year program encourages investment by leveraging private dollars with state dollars.
A Regional Approach The towns of Emlenton, Foxburg, Parker and St. Petersburg are banding together to form a
regional Main Street Program. Each community has formed a volunteer committee; a regional Board will be formed.
The goal is to develop a five-year plan of action and hire a Regional Main Street coordinator to implement each
community’s plan. This marks the beginning of formal cooperative efforts across county lines between Clarion and
Technical Assistance Study - Curbside Recycling R
Venango County is currently undergoing a Technical Assistance Study to address how a curbside
recycling system could either work together with the existing drop-off system or stand alone to provide E
cost-effective recycling services to County residents while maximizing material recovery. The purpose
of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of curbside recycling for certain Boroughs in Venango County. C
Nine Boroughs within the County, most of which have populations of less than 1,000, have indicated
interest in curbside recycling.
Venango County recently submitted an Act 101 section 902 grant application that requested L
funds to provide uniform signage to all drop-off location throughout the County. Application
included directional signs to be placed along busy roadside to direct residents to drop-off
locations and magnetic signs to be placed on the drop-off bins noting what materials are to be N
placed in each bin. Also submitted in application are funds for Recycling Education materials
and school programs. Applications are currently being processed. G
The Venango County Commissioners have engaged the consulting firm of HRG, Inc. to complete a S
countywide stormwater management plan. Completion of the plan was recommended by the VCRPC P T
as an implementation element of the 2005 Countywide Comprehensive Plan. The specific watersheds
under study are East Sandy Creek, French Creek, Oil Creek, Sugar Creek, Slippery Rock Creek, Wolf
Creek and the Allegheny River. Venango County is the first County in the state to examine watersheds in
a comprehensive countywide fashion. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection funds
75% of the project cost through Act 167 monies. VCRPC staff provides in kind services to cover the 25% S W
match cost. A Stormwater management advisory committee has been established with representation from A
municipal government, the county conservation district, DEP, PennDot and other agencies and special E
interest groups. Phase I study work includes the development of a scope of work and cost estimate to T
complete a comprehensive Phase II study. I E
VENANGO COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION 814.432.9689 814.432.5885(fax)
Calendar of Events
REGIONAL PLANNING 11/28 & 12/26 Venango County Housing Authority
COMMISSION Meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Offices of the Venango County
Housing Authority located in the Cherryhill Apartments in Oi City.
Board Members: 12/5 & 1/8 Affordable Housing Trust Board
Meeting begins at 3:00 p.m. in room 103 of the Venango County
Susan Hileman, Chair Courthouse Annex.
Warren Thomas, Vice-Chair 12/8 & 1/19 Heritage Advisory Committee
Marc Rickard, Secretary/Treasurer Meeting begins at 10:30 a.m.; location to be announced. Please
Terry Ray contact the office staff at 814-432-9689 for locations.
Mary Ann Caton 12/19 & 1/16 VCRPC Board Meetings
Debbra Kapp Meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in room 100 of the Venango County
Garnet Wood Courthouse Annex.
Ken Garland April 14-18 APA Conference
Jeff Langworthy This years conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA. For more
Dan Kaylor information please contact the VCRPC office staff at 814-432-9689.
Fred Krizinsky For more information on joining the Regional Planning Commission, please contact Judith
Wally Stearns Downs at 814-432-9681. By using a joint planning approach, a municipality can more
Kirk Anna effectively address issues that extend beyond its municipal boundary. Among the advan-
Sonja Hawkins tages to this type of planning, municipalities may:
Neil McElwee • provide training resources to municipalities and council of governments;
• provide professional staff to assist with plan and ordinance preparation;
VCRPC Staff: • provide professional services on an as needed basis;
subdivision and land development plan review
Judith Downs, Executive Director land use ordinance administration
firstname.lastname@example.org • reduce redundancy in infrastructure projects;
Growing Greener projects
Debra Frawley, Planner II Recreation plans and projects
Lynn Moss, Planner I • promote transportation improvement projects;
email@example.com • protect and preserve productive farmland, woodlands and other natural resources, and
• promote cooperative economic development projects and programs.
Web Site: Projects with multi-municipal partners are often viewed more favorably for grant funds than
w w w. c o . v e n a n g o . p a . u s single municipality projects.
Venango County Regional Planning Commission
1168 Liberty Street, P.O. Box 831
Franklin, PA 16323
(814) 432-9689 Phone
(814) 432-5885 Fax