Cornplanter Square Building Renovation Another Step Closer to Reality

| February 14, 2018

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The Cornplanter Square building renovation in Oil City took another step closer to reality with a couple of measures passed by the Venango County Commissioners at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The first thing the commissioners did was authorize the moving of $900,713.00 from the multimodal transportation hub project to the Cornplanter Square project as part of a RACP Match Commitment Resolution.

With that nearly $1 million going towards the Cornplanter Square project, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will then match that $1 million (the county will need to get their portion to a $1 million) with a $1 million grant, according to Venango County Planning Commission Executive Director Jason Ruggiero.

“We received that award letter from the state,” Ruggiero said. “They are committed to a million. That, along with our million, will allow us to get started on the rehabilitation of the building. We just finished that study, so we are ready to move forward.”

While the money is being transferred from the multimodal project, that project is unaffected.

“We are contributing dollars there, and the rest comes from state and federal sources,” Ruggiero said.

The second move made by the Commissioners on Tuesday was to ratify a Keystone Communities Program grant for $500,000.00 that will be turned into a revolving loan to promote and help grow businesses in the county. The county applied for the loan in September.

“It will be administered by the county’s new economic development authority,” Ruggiero said. “A loan committee will be formed.”

According to Ruggiero, the hope is that the initial loan will be given to the brewpub that has expressed a desire to open in the first couple of floors of the Cornplanter Square building – the other floors will be used for a business incubator program.

“The initial loan, we plan on giving the entire amount to the brewery that is planned for the building,” Ruggiero said. “Once that money is paid back, or as it is paid back, we can go and make other loans and the money can just cycle back.”

According to Ruggiero, while the new brewpub would most likely get the initial loan, that isn’t a done deal yet and there will be stipulations it must meet.

“They will have to meet certain requirements,” Ruggiero said. “We have already talked about those requirements. It is certainly not a blank check. It will hinge on lease agreements and a business plan review.”

Ruggiero also said the time frame for paying back that loan that is currently being discussed is a seven-year payback term.

“That is a pretty advanced payback term for a half-million dollars,” Ruggiero said.

Ruggiero said the county is excited to finally be at this point after making the purchase of the Cornplanter Square building nine months ago.

“We are very excited,” Ruggiero said.


The county’s household waste and electronic collections services will now be quarterly starting in June.

According to Ruggiero, the county had gone to bi-monthly collections but has found that collection has leveled off.

Environmental Coordination Services & Recycling will be the collection service for those items in 2018 and 2019.


In other business the commissioners:

  • Approved three agenda items for the Court Administration including a BI Extended Warranty for the electronic monitoring system administered through the courts, a statement of work for CDI/BTM to run software for Adult Probation and a ratification of a national curriculum training institute sublicense and sales agreement.
  • Amended an agreement with the county’s K9 Officer, Ryan Williams, where instead of receiving compensation time for overtime work as the K9 officer, Williams will now receive overtime at time-and-a-half. This is consistent with the new county policy of paying for overtime as opposed to compensating with comp time for overtime.
  • Entered into a contract with Abel Fence LLC to rehab the Airport fence.
  • Approved an annual contract with MCP Consulting for assistance with technology not to exceed $25,000.
  • Approved a few agreements as the fiscal agent for the Northwest Workforce Development board including one that allows the county to receive money at the fiscal agent, another for a cleaning contract and a third for a settlement agreement with the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation that would see the county receiving $40,916 from UC.
  • Appointed Timothy Dunkle, Erik Johnson, Mike Johnson, Todd Johnson and Michelle Hartle to the 504 Subcommittee.
  • Approved fee reimbursements for engineering fees for Family Service and Children’s Aid Society of Venango County, Inc., Adam Gilmore, Michael and Kathy Irwin and AJC Real Estate Holding.
  • Entered into cooperation agreements with Cranberry Township and Sugarcreek Borough to administer those municipalities 2017 CDBG Funds. Law requires that the county administer funds for municipalities under 10,000 residents.
  • Ratified a dirt, gravel and low volume road maintenance project agreement between the county and the Venango County Conservation District to implement Phase 2 of the Dirt/Gravel road project at Two Mile Run County Park.


New Hires

  • Mark Selby, Maintenance Worker II effective Jan. 17 (note: he was separated from employment Jan. 19).
  • Hilary Buchanan, Deputy Director of Planning effective Feb. 12.
  • Christopher Hartman, Corrections Officer, effective Jan. 15.
  • Heather McClintock, Corrections Officer, effective Jan. 22.
  • Christopher Proudfoot, Corrections Officer, effective Feb. 4.
  • Amanda Lord, Service Coordinator III in PIC Unit, effective Feb. 1.
  • Todd Martin, Service Coordinator III in PIC Unit, effective Jan. 8.


  • Samantha Burke, Corrections Officer, effective Jan. 30.
  • Charles Tarr, Veterans’ Affair Director, effective Jan. 24.


  • Sarah Carter, From Service Coordinator I to Service Coordinator II in Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 15.


  • Valerie Zitterbart in Children & Youth Services from Service Coordinator Supervisor to Senior Program Specialist, effective Feb. 25.


  • Brandy Mitchell, Service Coordinator II in Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 24.
  • Marcella Dill, Service Coordinator III in PIC Unit, effective Feb. 28.
  • Ashley Rodgers, Department Clerk III in Human Services Clerical, effective Jan. 26.
  • Alane Fry, Service Coordinator II in MH/DS, effective Sept. 13, 2017.
  • Debbra Kapp, Resource Navigator in MH.DS, effective Feb. 7.
  • Shelby Snyder, Case Manager in Community Support Services, effective Feb. 28.


  • Karen Hall in Veterans’ Affairs from Department Clerk II SEIU Pay Grade 8 at $13.96 per hour to SEIU Pay Grade 8 at $10.0613 per hour based on her temporary assignment performing additional duties having ended, effective Jan. 24.


  • Tina Grove from Department Clerk III in Community Support Services to CSS Programs Clerk effective Jan. 12. This position was reclassified at the February Salary Board Meeting.


  • Sommer Lawson, Service Coordinator Intern in Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 22 and lasting no longer than May 4.
  • Skekiah Hines, Service Coordinator Intern in Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 22 and lasting no longer than May 4.
  • Karie Leister, Service Coordinator Intern in MH/DS, effective Jan. 22.
  • Anna Siberto, Service Coordinator Intern in MH.DS, effective Jan. 22 and lasting no longer than May 4.


  • Teri Stubler, Aging Case Manager II in Older Adult Services, effective Feb. 2.


  • Mark Selby, Maintenance Worker II, effective Jan. 19.
  • William Berry, Corrections Officer, effective Jan. 16.
  • P. Brian Gotses, Senior Program Specialist in Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 26.
  • Tracy Ward, Department Clerk III Human Services Clerical, effective Jan. 26.
  • Marie Plumer, Deputy Human Service Administrator/Substance Abuse Director, effective Feb. 22.


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