Debate Over Senior Housing Project Sparks Write-In Campaign for Warren City Council

September 22, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – The proposed senior housing project in downtown Warren has been the subject of intense debate for Warren City Council in recent months, and now, it’s sparked one resident to seek office.

Kevin Sheldon voiced his opposition during Monday’s meeting, then announced he would be challenging current councilman Maurice Cashman’s seat in the upcoming election.

“Mr. Cashman quoted Jeff Eggleston (County Commissioner) that we need more affordable housing, especially senior housing,” Sheldon said. “He and John Wortman visited the senior center in Clarion, but that project is eight blocks from Main St., not on Main St.”

The location of the project has been the subject of much scrutiny (the project itself was not among the items on the agenda at Monday’s meeting), with Bent Run owners Phil and Denise Caudill even starting a petition in opposition of the projects with pages of signatures in the 100s.

“It’s going to be 40 units, with little or no benefit to the local businesses,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon went on to say that there should be more focus on the city’s comprehensive plan and continuing to grow the downtown area.

“We need to find a way to keep people in their homes, not put them in low-income housing,” Sheldon said. “I haven’t heard any talk about retaining and attracting younger people to Warren. Let’s work on affordable high-speed internet. That affects everyone.”

Other items discussed:

• Council approved the authorization of Community Development Block Grant funding in the amount of $310,893, which will be used for the Glenwood Street improvement project.

• Council moved closer to adopting a resolution to post regular meetings as well as special meetings and retaining them on YouTube.

“We’re looking to add public work sessions to this resolution as well,” said Mayor David Wortman. “This has been a long path and is going to be a win for continued transparency.”

• Council approved the annual resolution pertaining to Fair Housing as required by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

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