Redevelopment authority plans local share hearings; $26 million sought

Redevelopment authority to determine which projects, organizations will receive money

November 1, 2012

The Washington County Redevelopment Authority has scheduled public hearings for government and nongovernmental organizations seeking $26.5 million in local share projects for mid-January.This is more than four times the amount of money that is likely to be available.Asked about a firm figure, William McGowen, executive director of the redevelopment authority, said, “That’s something we’ll we be talking to the Department of Community and Economic Development about in the next month.”A ballpark figure from years past since the initiation of the automatic municipal share, which varies according to a municipality’s population, would be “seven to eight million bucks,” McGowen estimated. Public hearings on ideas for spending the money are scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, and 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the public meeting room of the Courthouse Square office building.McGowen offered a breakdown Wednesday to the county commissioners at their agenda meeting.Three requests in the economic development category top $700,000: Washington County Council on Economic Development, Starpointe Flex Building No. 3; the rebuilding of Technology Drive in California; and the redevelopment of the Washington Trust Building by TREK Development Group. Two community improvement projects top $1 million: continued restoration and expansion of the Monongahela aquatorium, $1.46 million; and replacement of the Franklin Farms Road bridge, $1.13 million.Sanitary sewer projects in Centerville, Cecil, Monongahela, Amwell and joint projects in Nottingham-Peters, Carroll Township-Donora, and Independence-Cross Creek total $6.8 million. Water projects totaling $473,231 are proposed for lines and hydrants in Donora, the village of Gibson in Bentleyville and the Redwood Drive line extension in Amwell.The category with the smallest number of entrants is job training, with Phase 4 Career Readiness seeking $100,000; Penn Commercial Business and Technical School seeking $420,943 for its welding technology training program; and Washington-Greene County Job Training Agency seeking $399,363 for its Work Certified Academy. Washington County Finance Director Roger Metcalfe said there seems to be popular misconception that gambling proceeds go into Washington County’s general fund.That’s not the case, although the commissioners appoint members of the local share committee who evaluate proposals and recommend a list to the commissioners in February. County government is among the entities that have applied for local share money for specific projects.To see a list of applicants, visit

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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