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State department heads to Jeannette to see funds in use

| Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
The ongoing South Sixth Street housing project is funded with Department of Community and Economic Development funds through a Community Block Grant in addition to other sources.
Margie Stanislaw | For Trib Total Media
The ongoing South Sixth Street housing project is funded with Department of Community and Economic Development funds through a Community Block Grant in addition to other sources.
Seasonal flags and planters adorn Clay Avenue in Jeannette. The flags, plants and planters were purchased with Department of Community and Economic Development funds through the Neighborhood Partnership Program. Planters and urns were also purchased for City Hall and Altman Park, in addition to equipment such as weed whackers and trimmers for volunteer cleanups.
Tribune-Review
Seasonal flags and planters adorn Clay Avenue in Jeannette. The flags, plants and planters were purchased with Department of Community and Economic Development funds through the Neighborhood Partnership Program. Planters and urns were also purchased for City Hall and Altman Park, in addition to equipment such as weed whackers and trimmers for volunteer cleanups.

In 2012, one of the things that the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) decided to do was get out on the road.

The DCED's “On the Road, Jobs First Tour” will stop in Jeannette for the first time on Sept. 18.

According to Tay Waltenbaugh, director of Westmoreland Community Action (WCA), said the visit has two purposes.

“Just about anything my agency does comes through them (DCED),” he said. “They want to see how some of the dollars are being used and the partnerships have been going.”

WCA was instrumental in securing more than $500,000 in tax credit money through the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) to be used in the City of Jeannette over the next five years.

Diana Reitz, the city's Community Development Director, is also pleased about the visit.

“This is the first time they (DCED) have ever come to Jeannette,” said Reitz.

The Community Development Block Grants applied for and administered through Reitz's office also come from DCED.

“They are going to be looking at some projects in the city and possibly some future projects that could be funded with state funds. Future pending projects for discussion are Monsour and Jeannette hospitals and the status of the Zion property. They will also be reviewing the ongoing South Sixth Street Project,” said Reitz.

Both Waltenbaugh and Reitz said the visit will be a brief one.

DCED officials will be in town from 2-3 p.m.

Waltenbaugh said the DCED representatives will want to see how the public/private partnerships have developed and he will present a Powerpoint presentation about the projects.

He hopes to be able to fill up council chambers and will invite the NPP board, the Jeannette Community Action Team, the Jeannette Business Association and others.

Public officials attending the event include state Sen. Kim Ward, state Rep. Ted Harhai, county commissioners Chuck Anderson, Tyler Courtney and Ted Kopas, and Jason Rigone of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation.

Waltenbaugh hopes to have at least 15 minutes for questions from the community.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase our projects and a great time for people with concerns to make comments and ask questions,” said Waltenbaugh.

Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.

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