Venango County Commissioners Hopeful Authority Will Boost Economy

| August 31, 2017

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) — With an eye toward increasing economic development, the Venango County Commissioners are working to create an economic development authority.

“We are working to develop a unified voice in the county with the hope of bettering the county’s economics,” Commissioners Albert “Chip” Abramovic said. “The state prefers to deal with a county-level group as opposed to several smaller ones.”

Issues with a declining population and employment are acknowledged problems that the commissioners want to reverse.

“We can’t wait to do something. We need to come together to make this happen. Hopefully, everyone works together to make it happen,” Abramovic said.

Abramovic said he believes the board will be made up of seven to 15 members.

“There will be leaders from various municipalities, the Oil Region Alliance, and others, but we have a ways to go before that happens,” Abramovic said.

He also said that once the board is organized, they can apply for a $500,000.00 state grant.

“It’s a revolving loan fund that helps the authority get started,” Abramovic said.

The commissioners believe developing the Cornplanter Square building and using its fiber optics capabilities to court businesses are key.

“We need to let businesses know how we can help them come here,” Abramovic said. “We have a lot to offer here, and there’s no reason we can’t be an attractive place for businesses to be in.”

The commissioners have had some informal contact with a government relations firm that could help them progress with the authority.

A public hearing is scheduled for October 10 where the commissioners can hear from the county’s citizens.


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