North Huntingdon officials trying to attract more businesses
North Huntingdon officials hope to attract businesses to the area as part of their plan to overhaul the township's zoning ordinances.
Lee Moffatt, president of the board of commissioners, suggested making assistant manager Mike Turley the township's economic ambassador.
The economic-ambassador position is in preliminary discussions, so pay and other expenses have not been discussed, Moffatt said.
Part of the ambassador's duties would be attending business trade shows and making contact with businesses about opportunities and available lots in North Huntingdon, Moffatt said.
“They're all overlooking us here,” Moffatt said. “I don't know why we're not getting these restaurants and businesses over here, especially when you look at new businesses.
“We have prime, pad-ready sites, ready to be built on.”
Township manager John Shepherd said before establishing an economic ambassador, the commissioners must make sure to clearly define its purpose, and what types of businesses they want North Huntingdon.
“We don't want to court businesses that could be problematic,” he said.
Township planner and engineer Andrew Blenko said the location of the township's business district, along Route 30, near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, should be enticing to new businesses because of high traffic flows. But, Blenko said, officials can't understand why several parcels, such as the ones surrounding Walmart, remain vacant.
“I just don't understand why, with the two major highways, we don't see more progress,” Blenko said.
Planning commission member Tom Kerber, a former commissioner, said township officials should begin taking a proactive approach to attracting businesses.
“We can get these people here,” Kerber said. “But you've got to get out of your office chair, go out and find these people, since most of them are looking for places.”
Kerber suggested that township officials need to let developers know they are willing to help them, instead of dictating requirements.
“It's that thought of ‘It's us against the township,'” Kerber said. “We need to work with them and not just tell them to go do this or that because it sends the message that we're not really interested.
“We have to change that attitude and let people know we're here to walk them through the process and be friendlier.”
The planning commission and board of commissioners plan to continue discussing development and the zoning ordinance overhaul during a meeting at 6 p.m. April 11 before the commissioners' workshop meeting.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Norwin School District buys new trucks, tractor
- Closure of small North Irwin bridge could cause big problems
- Irwin VFD expecting new ladder truck by end of year
- Irwin discusses affordability, size of police department
- Norwin School District to shore up hillside behind Hahntown Elementary