Canonsburg council members scheduled an economic development workshop to plan for the borough’s future.
Councilman Eric Chandler, who oversees redevelopment in the borough, said the workshop, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in the borough building, had been “in the works.”
“I think individuals have been doing things and working toward redevelopment, but no one was on the same page,” he said. “We want to come up with a solid plan for what direction we want to go and what businesses we want to come into the community.”
The purpose of the workshop, Chandler said, is “fact finding and data collection.” He wants to start a conversation to find out “where we are currently and where we want to go.”
He wants to get community leaders on the same page and formulate a plan, whether it be implementing a Main Street program or hiring individuals to oversee programming.
“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of opinions,” Chandler said about the upcoming workshop. “Part of the process might even be a survey to see what’s going to bring people to Canonsburg.”
The workshop is open to the public and speakers will include representatives from the business community, council, code enforcement and the borough’s chamber of commerce.
“I think there will be a whole lot of people that come together from many different facets,” Canonsburg Mayor Dave Rhome said.
Chandler said he’s also hopeful Jeff Kotula, president of Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Promotion Agency, will be able to attend and offer expertise.
“I think it would be great to have his insight on how we can move forward collectively,” Chandler said.
Kotula said he’s looking forward to partnering with the borough and working with the borough’s business community.
“Downtown Canonsburg has seen some great business investment in the past several years such as Rusty Gold Brewery, The Bar Association and ARC Human Services’ recent announcement that they will move their headquarters into the former Brody Furniture Building,” Kotula said in an emailed statement.
“We have also seen growth in the town’s quality of life amenities such as the Frank Sarris Library and the countless community events that make Canonsburg a wonderful place to live, visit and conduct business,” he continued. “It is great to see Mayor Rhome and other community leaders actively engaged in further improving the town and encouraging growth.”
Rhome said he’s hopeful the meeting may even stir some ideas for property that the borough now owns, like the former Eagles Lodge, at 122 N. Central Ave., which they purchased last year for $100,000. The borough owns multiple parcels along Loubell Drive, from the Eagles Lodge to the former nursing home at 119 Greenside Ave., with a parking lot between them.
“There’s been a lot of different groups working in, not different directions, but on their specific directions,” Rhome said. “It’s time now to bring those groups together.”