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North Huntingdon to court businesses

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

North Huntingdon officials will work to attract offices, light manufacturing, research and high-tech businesses.

Township commissioners on Thursday asked Michael Turley, assistant township manager, to lead the initiative, with input from planners and commissioners.

“The ultimate goal would be for the township to attract the type of development that the board would like to see in the township,” John Shepherd, township manager, said. “This board has talked about getting some higher-end office jobs, some light manufacturing … high-tech, research, biotech.”

The area has easily attracted grocery stores and other businesses, he said.

North Huntingdon may hire a consulting firm to help draft an overall plan. Officials will inventory the township's land, concentrating on pieces ripe for such development, Shepherd said.

“They're good for the residents who live here, and it's good for our tax base. It's good to diversify,” Shepherd said. “We have a lot of retail, we certainly have a lot of homes.”

The effort culminates a series of joint meetings this year between commissioners and the planning commission. Those talks included a push to more proactively find businesses and to market the township, which has welcomed more than 1,000 homes over the past decade.

With the township's budgeting season approaching, now is a good time for these discussions, Shepherd said.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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