In Curwensville ... Blueprint group seeks public's help
Thursday, June 19, 2014
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - The Curwensville region Blueprint Communities team needs help from the public. Last night, a meeting at the Curwensville Community Center, the host organization for the program that encompasses Curwensville and Grampian boroughs and Bloom, Penn and Pike townships, was held to review the program and explain how the community can get involved.
The session drew about 60 people. Guests included members of the core team, the home team, community residents, municipality representatives and county officials.
The Curwensville region is one of six communities recently selected to be one of Pennsylvania's 2014-15 Blueprint Communities. Applications were also accepted from Reynoldsville, Clarion, New Castle, Huntingdon County and the Oil Region Group comprised of Emlenton, Foxburg and Parker.
Blueprint Communities, sponsored by FHL Bank, Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center with assistance from Penn State Extension Services, is an intensive training program that gives teams from accepted municipalities tools each needs to create personalized community visions, prioritize projects and find funding to bring those images to fruition.
Curwensville's team will participate in six trainings at various locations throughout the state that began in May and will continue through January. Blueprint Communities program instructors will visit the Curwensville region 16 times to conduct trainings and help ensure its program is on track. . Sessions will focus on identifying and developing community resources, growing local leadership, asset mapping, visioning, marketing and communication. There will also be onsite meetings involving interested municipal leaders and residents. Completing the program can also serve as a catalyst for private and public grant funding
Last night it was the community's turn to hear about how it can help further the program. A
survey prepared for the program is currently available. Residents are asked to log on and
complete the survey for the particular area they live in. Information from the survey will
help the core and community teams develop a comprehensive plan for the communities and
prioritize projects using the information from the surveys.
"This is not our project. This is your project," said John Wright, a core team member, who
explained how data from the surveys would be used to create a personalized future plan for
the Curwensville region.
He said each member of the core team has made a commitment to learn all they can to help the
community but it is up to residents to provide information about what changes need to be
made for future growth and development and what needs to be preserved.
The survey is available online at http://www.padowntow.org/pdc-testing/perceptions and on
the team's Web page, www.cabc.me.
Copies of the survey and drop boxes are available at Curwensville at Goodman's Foodliner,
the Curwensville Public Library, True Value, Gates Hardware and the Strawberry Tree; in
Grampian at Sholes Grocery; and in Clearfield at the Joseph and Elizabeth Shaw Public
Eric Johnston of Northwest Savings Bank, the local bank affiliated with FHL Bank explained
FHL Bank's role in the program and read a news release that noted over the previous 10
years, Blueprint Comunities in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia have leveraged more
than $200 million in private and public investments for a variety of local needs.
He also reviewed the Banking on Business program, sponsored by FHL Bank, which designates
funds specifically for businesses located in municipalities selected to participate the
Blueprint Communities program
Hildred Rowles, core team member introduced the remaining members of the core team. They
are: Shelia Williams, Ron Matchock, Erin Ammerman, Kathy Gillespie, Cynthia Russell, Dee
Holland, Susan Wingard, alternate, and Noah Stephens and Rylee Young, student
He said anyone interested is welcome to be a member of the core team's support group - the
home team. They can become involved by attending meetings on the second Wednesday of each
month at 7 p.m. at the Curwensville Community Center or following the team on its Facebook