Venango County Won’t See Federal Money for July Flood Damage

| August 14, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Despite much-localized damage in a pair of Venango County municipalities due to mid-July flooding, the county won’t qualify for any federal disaster relief money, according to Tim Dunkle, Public Safety Director for the County.

Dunkle told the Venango County Commissioners at Tuesday’s Commissioners’ meeting that while Venango County met the threshold for Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania didn’t meet the threshold for federal funds.

“Unfortunately, because of that, we won’t see any federal money,” Dunkle said.

Flooding occurred July 19 in Venango County causing two county municipalities to declare disaster emergency declarations – Oil City and Cranberry Township.

The declarations were formally approved by the County Commissioners on Tuesday including a seven-day addendum for Cranberry Township after the initial seven-day declaration.


The Commissioners approved a small contract with Amos Rudolph Architecture to help in the renovation of the Franklin Professional Building for the new Joint Emergency Operations Center in the County.

According to Venango County Planning Commission Executive Director Jason Ruggiero, the contract is just a small piece of the puzzle and comes in at $5,100.00.

“The overall cost of the project is much more than that,” Ruggiero said.

According to Venango County Commissioner Albert “Chip” Abramovic, a Joint Emergency Operation Center is basically a big room where all entities that need to coordinate during a disaster or emergency can meet.

“They need a big room to meet in,” Abramovic told exploreVenango in July. “Currently, they are using one of the conference rooms in the Human Service building. This will be a standalone room.”

Money for the project comes from a PEMA Grant.


Commissioner Vincent Witherup congratulated Luke Kauffman and his staff at Two Mile Run County Park on a successful Internal Bowhunting Organization (IBO) event July 12-14.

“The economic impact of this event is around $400,000.00 for Venango County,” Witherup said. “It will only grow from here. I appreciate all the work you guys did for that.”


The Commissioners approved a contract with Svetz Consulting Services, LLC for the Small Business Entrepreneur Program that is done through Veterans Affairs of Venango County.

According to Witherup, the program has been going for six years now and has had 30 plus veterans go through it.

“It is designed to help folks start businesses or help those with fledgling businesses,” Witherup said. “It is an eight-week program.”

Witherup said out of the 30-plus participants so far in the program, 75 percent who started their own business are still in business.

“It is really, really helping the vets,” Witherup said. “It is a very well-worth program.”


In other business the Commissioners:

  • Appointed Anita Fuchs to the Venango County Regional Planning Commission. Fuchs is an elected auditor in Irwin Township and fill the last vacant seat on the Commission.
  • Ratified an amendment to a contract with the Salvation Army. The initial contract is for the purchase of the old Luthern Church in Franklin.
  • Agreed to pay $500.00 to Mary and David Sarver to acquire a right-away in the area of Dotter Bridge. The County needed to acquire the right-away for the Dotter Bridge project
  • Related Story: Census Specialist Touts Ease, Safety and Importance of 2020 Census to Venango County

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