Rapp tours Youngsville

State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-65th) (left) tours the downtown Youngsville streetscape area Thursday with stakeholders Northwest Bank Branch Manager Marina Burch, Joanne Oviatt of Revitalization of Youngsville, Borough Council Member Rick Brewster, Nancy Holmberg of Revitalization of Youngsville, Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg, and Council Member Troy Clawson.

Youngsville has big plans for revitalizing its downtown.

The ongoing streetscape project has started that process.

To move farther down the path, the borough and Revitalization of Youngsville (RoY) invited State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-65th) to visit and take a tour of the central downtown area.

On Thursday, Rapp met with Nancy Holmberg and Joanne Oviatt of RoY, borough council members Rick Brewster and Troy Clawson, Northwest Bank Youngsville Branch Manager Marina Burch, and Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg, to have a look around.

“She can advocate for us” at the state level, Oviatt said. “In order to do that, we felt she needed to see where the project is.”

For Clawson, the visit was a chance to showcase the town’s offerings. “Any chance you can get to get your representative on the banks of the Brokenstraw” is a positive for the community, he said.

Brewster agreed. “Walk around, have the people take a look and say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing,'” he said. “It’s all part and parcel of the strategic planning.”

The borough has held several strategic planning meetings this year with strong community participation.

RoY has been working toward its revitalization goal, including the streetscape project, for 11 years. “We are making progress,” Oviatt said.

Officials are hoping Rapp’s advocacy can help in its next step.

The borough has applied for a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) multi-modal grant, asking for $1 million for the second phase of its streetscape project, Hagberg said.

DCED requires a 30 percent local match, and Hagberg said the borough and RoY have the required $300,000 in hand.

Phase 2 would include sidewalks, curb cuts, ADA compliance, road work, storm drainage, decorative lighting, benches, and landscaping along East Main Street from the Veterans Memorial Bridge to Church Street.

Before even heading out, Rapp said she would be “happy to give a letter of support” for the project.

About an hour later, she had heard and seen details about the new businesses, the changes made by existing businesses, and aesthetic and structural changes made in the central section of the borough.

Hagberg said the borough expects to hear back from DCED regarding the competitive grant in November or December.