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Leader sought for Latrobe Community Revitalization Program

| Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Latrobe's Community Revitalization Program is looking for an executive director to manage the city's revitalization efforts and serve as its Main Street manager for the remainder of this year and 2013, a city official said.

“We're looking for a person to pull together the retail and office and residential development,” said Alex Graziani, Latrobe city manager.

“The ideal candidate is someone who has experience in real estate, finance and marketing,” Graziani added.

The revitalization program is seeking a candidate to replace Executive Director Annette Couch, who is leaving the job on Oct. 15 to take a position with the nonprofit Latrobe Foundation, Graziani said.

Couch, a Latrobe native who was named director in 2009, could not be reached for comment. Couch was a program consultant for a year before taking the job as Main Street manager.

The opportunity and the challenge of working on revitalizing Latrobe has attracted interest from about 35 applicants. The deadline for applying for the position is Monday, Graziani said.

The city would like to have more businesses move downtown and increase residential living in that area, Graziani said. The fact that the downtown parking garage has reopened after more than two years of being closed, thus easing the parking crunch, should make living downtown more attractive, Graziani said.

He views the Main Street manager's position as one of helping local businesses and helping to market the retail activity.

In the past few years, the revitalization program has spearheaded a storefront renovation initiative for downtown buildings. The program has helped finance facade projects at Adams Memorial Library, B&L Classic Cottons/Chicora's, the Dollar General building, the Rogers Building and the Rose Style Shoppe. With the help of a state matching grant, new signs, lighting, awnings, windows and doors were installed and storefronts painted.

The revitalization program has sponsored the Latrobe Farmers Market at Legion Keener Park, which has attracted people into the city.

To continue the Main Street program past 2013, Graziani said the organization will look for money from public and private sources.

“We're looking for a public-private partnership,” Graziani said.

Interested applicants can e-mail their resume to agraziani@cityoflatrobe.com.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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