The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 10, 2013

Cambria plans new authority

Residents’ input being sought on economic development agency

EBENSBURG — Cambria County residents will have an opportunity next month to comment on plans to form a new arm of government, a municipal authority aimed at economic development.

An advertisement appearing in Friday’s Public Notice section of The Tribune-Democrat on behalf of the commissioners spells out their intentions to create the Cambria County Economic Development Authority.

The hearing, set for 5 p.m. June 10 in the commissioners’ board room on the third floor of the courthouse, is a state requirement of the Municipalities Act of 1945 requiring that the formal hearing be held to assure that citizens are aware of the commissioners’ intentions.

A special commissioners  meeting will be held immediately after the hearing to adopt the ordinance forming the authority and other business, according to the legal ad.

The purpose of the authority, according to Commissioner President Douglas Lengenfelder, is to promote the creation of new industries and creation and operation of a Foreign Trade Zone, which has been in the works for several months.

County Solicitor Thomas Leiden said the hearing is being held for the presentation of any information the community may have regarding the authority.

“It’s an opportunity for any individual to present information,” he said. “It’s not like we’re going to be putting anyone on the stand and questioning them.”

While some details of the authority are still being ironed out, the board likely will be made up of seven members appointed by the commissioners and will have a staff of some form, one area yet to be developed, Lengenfelder said.

“We have had tons of discussion already,” he said.

The county will have to file articles of incorporation with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The commissioners will set the terms of each of the authority members and will reserve the right to approve any plan of the authority.

Calling his timetable to have the authority operational, “a little ambitious,” Lengenfelder said he hopes the commissioners can be making appointments in two months.

Formation of the authority follows a February trip to Argentina by Lengenfelder and a delegation of area businessmen to pursue the potential of bottling Argentine wine in Cambria County.

Lengenfelder, a retired military colonel who served in Argentina, hopes the wine business is just the start of aggressive economic development initiatives.

Funding the authority to the tune of $150,000 per year will come from the $1.2 million that the county gives Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, a move that has sparked controversy.

But Lengenfelder questions the wisdom of having trained people if there are no jobs for them after completing their postsecondary education.

The money coming from the college contribution will replace a $150,000 allocation made in the 2013 county general fund budget for economic development, officials said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads