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A drawing board for downtown

Jim Decker, Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry president and CEO, and the WCCBI are doing the right thing convening a working group — the Trestle to Trestle Task Force — to take a comprehensive look at the downtown.

Creation of the new group is spurred by the reaction to a hotel development in Breeze Point Landing that has angered many Warren residents. While spurred by the hotel opposition, Decker told The Times Observer that the task force’s focus will be on the entire downtown. It will develop an inventory of all properties inside the area bounded east to west by the railroad trestles that cross the Allegheny River. Crescent Park will be the southern boundary with Pennsylvania Avenue the northern limit.

Task force members will come up with a prioritized list of redevelopment needs will be established which considers what new businesses are required/desired within the community and where within the footprint would that new business best be located and develop financing options for the individual projects.

Such work needs to be done, and the WCCBI is the right organization to lead it, particularly with Decker saying he wants the task force to work closely with city staff members and the City Council.

The sheer common sense of what Decker proposes makes us wonder, though, why such a task force really necessary? Shouldn’t city staff have been doing this sort of work on an ongoing basis?

Yeah, they should have. Let this be a lesson to city leaders on how to handle development moving into the future.

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