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Regional development: Why not Armstrong?

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Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

At campaign time there's always talk about jobs, sometimes known by the political euphemism “economic development.”

But economic development always has had its hush-hush side. Elected leaders say they are working on it but can't say much for fear of frightening away perspective developers.

We have heard that for years.

There used to be talk of attracting industrial development with a local airport or extension of the Route 28 four-lane expressway from here, where it now ends, to Interstate 80, therein opening up a better avenue for the Pittsburgh area and developing Armstrong.

We haven't heard any of that for years.

Industrial parks did help the area to some degree, but nothing approaching a “boom.”

Some have argued that Armstrong seems never to be in the mix amid talk of big projects. We hear about expanding the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the south of the region, about the potential for a petrochemical plant in Beaver County and other prospective developments — but Armstrong rarely is mentioned.

These are tough times in rural America, and nobody can reasonably expect a quick fix. It is a two-steps-forward and one-step-back kind of process. The only question now is who's doing the leading, who has a grand plan — or even an idea? Who is making sure Armstrong has a seat at the regional table?

We trust county, state and federal officials representing us are working together on this all-too-apparent need.

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