Philipsburg seeks $50,000 development grant

Philipsburg is seeking funds to improve the downtown, and the Centre County Board of Commissioners is in full support.

County commissioners unanimously agreed to issue a letter of support for the Philipsburg Revitalization Corp. and its intent to submit an application for a $50,000 grant to the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

According to Philipsburg Main Street Director Dana Shoemaker, who spoke to the commissioners Tuesday, the funds would be used for facade improvement projects located in the Keystone Community-designated area of the borough. The funds would also help leverage additional investments by private investors.

The development corporation, which oversees the traditional Main Street Program, Shoemaker said, would be looking at buildings in need of structural improvement. There are several buildings downtown that “really need some work,” she said.

However, she added, Philipsburg remains a prime spot in the county to invest in new business.

“Really, in Philipsburg right now, if somebody builds it or opens it, they will come,” she said. “People are starting to realize it’s less expensive to do business in the Philipsburg borough and Rush Township.”

Aging commercial and housing properties in and around Philipsburg are getting attention from different developers, she said, which reflects the benefits of being in the county, but also provides affordable living and business opportunities.

“Fifty thousand doesn’t seem like a lot of money,” Shoemaker said, “but when you look at the amount of money it’s going to leverage through private investment, that’s where the real impact comes in.”

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews