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Forest County Downtown Revitalization Study Moves Forward with Help of $21,000 Grant
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded $21,000 to Forest County for the Forest County Downtown Revitalization project, which will focus on the downtowns of Tionesta Borough and the Village of Marienville. Local sources will match $9,000 bringing the total project funding to $30,000.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission has been tasked by Congress to assist rural areas increase economic development opportunities, and this study will assess current conditions and recommend goals for the communities of Tionesta and Marienville to implement a master plan to encourage economic growth,” Rep. Thompson said. “Both communities have suffered from declines in businesses and will benefit from a revitalization plan aimed at drawing visitors to the downtown areas. I stand with Tionesta and Marienville and encourage members of these communities to get involved. I believe there are great opportunities and I look forward to lending my support in a cooperative manner to ensure we can spur greater economic development.”
The Tionesta/Marienville Downtown Revitalization Master Plan will include an existing conditions analysis, goals and recommendations for priority improvements, and an implementation blueprint to guide further actions and investments in the communities.
The planning process will involve stakeholder meetings and input from residents in both Tionesta and Marienville. Planning activities will be led by an independent consultant selected through a competitive bid process.
Both Tionesta Borough and the Village of Marienville have gradually lost retail establishments that led to the deterioration of their respective downtowns over the years. Both communities have also been affected by major structural fires that destroyed key retail storefronts.
The plan will identify infrastructure and amenity improvements that can spur private investment in existing storefronts, draw new visitors to the two downtown areas, and help create market opportunities for new businesses.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.
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