Westmoreland receives $50,000 state grant to update comprehensive plan

HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today that Westmoreland County Commissioners have been awarded $50,000 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to update the county's comprehensive plan.

"It's been more than 10 years since the county's last plan was written and a lot can change in a decade," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. "This grant will help the county 'reimagine our Westmoreland' to address the challenges facing it regarding an aging workforce and investigate ways to attract and retain a stable population that enhances our communities and economy."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Westmoreland County's population is declining. Its population estimate in 2015 was 357,956, compared to 365,169 in 2010 and 369,993 in 2000.
A comprehensive plan serves as long-range plans and goals for the county in its future growth and development, and offers strategies to implement them. The updated plan is expected to address the county's residential, transportation, development and employment needs.

Several public meetings were held in late 2016, and more are planned in early 2017. The updated comprehensive plan is expected to be completed in early 2018.

The county's first comprehensive plan was written in 2005.