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Monessen targeting ‘blueprint’ program for business district

Pittsburgh Tribune ReviewBy Stacy Wolford
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MONESSEN – City council will apply for a grant as part of an effort to participate in a downtown revitalization program.

Councilwoman Mary Jo Smith prepared a grant request for $22,500 for the “Blueprint for Pennsylvania Downtowns.” The program is provided through the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities and HyettPalma, which will conduct the study.

Smith presented the proposal to council during a Monday night work session.

The “Blueprint” program is designed to provide hands-on help to city officials and community leaders interested in energizing their downtowns.

HyettPalma will start by creating a working partnership with the city by forming a process committee. The end result will be a “downtown blueprint” that provides a comprehensive strategy to reinvent the downtown economy.

Smith said the city will apply for the $22,500 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development. If it receives the grant, the money will be used to offset the $45,000 cost to participate in the “blueprint” program.

Smith said the program will benefit everyone in the city, not just the downtown area.

“We need a starting point and we have to have a goal to get to,” Smith said. “All of us are working and we can’t put an eight-hour day into this.

“But this is their line of expertise and they can bring a fresh new outlook into town,” she added with reference to HyettPalma.

Smith said Uniontown, Franklin Township and St. Mary’s have all participated in the “downtown blueprint” program.

Mayor Anthony Petaccia approved the grant request and said he felt the program would be beneficial for the city.

Council will meet tonight at 7 for its public meeting.

Stacy Wolford can be reached at or (724) 684-2640.

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