The Your Daily Local editorial titled “This is the Best We Can Do” from Feb. 20, 2023, is wrong on many levels and fails to even consider the many benefits this project will bring to our community, but hey why let facts get in the way of someone’s pressure campaign narrative.
Hudson’s Eagles Crest project was “greenlighted” as you term it, in September of 2018 when the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) approved the sale of the property on the corner of Pennsylvania and Liberty which has been vacant for decades to the PA Senior Housing Associates (PSHA). Over the course of the next four and a half years numerous issues concerning tax structure, parking, easements etc., associated with the project were on the agenda of at least six public meetings of the Warren City Council. Interestingly, there were no public comments made in any of these public meetings by any person or organization expressing concern or disapproval of the project. This project was however endorsed by the County Commissioners, the RDA, City Council, and other officials of the Commonwealth. Why did no one voice their concerns over all the many years prior to this Council being seated, when decisions and agreements were being made?
So now at the eleventh hour, after close to five years, hundreds of thousands of dollars and an untold number of man hours spent, you and others are advocating for the City to somehow use the power of government to halt the project and investment of a private business, over an easement the City never used, located on property the City doesn’t own?
The reason this must be done is in your words, “Old people housing! Old people housing! Low-income old people housing! Right on the riverfront!”.
Any member of our community advocating such a position should familiarize themselves with the Pennsylvania Fair Housing Act because these actions at this point would be considered unethical at best and illegal at worst. Such a reckless action would put the City in jeopardy and one must question the judgment of those who advocate for such.
There is no other similar living space anywhere in Warren County and this project will provide apartments for a minimum of 40 people within the City for folks 62 years and older. Within the building’s architecture will be designs to maintain the historical nature of the downtown and it possesses fitness areas, community activity room, and an outdoor patio. Hopefully, residents will be able to remain our City’s citizens for many years after moving into their new home.
Finally, as you know there is great excitement and enthusiasm for the broader Riverfront Development Project. Pennsylvania’s, Warren County’s, and the City government are heavily invested in this effort along with many key stakeholder groups. For the City to ruin its reputation as a good faith partner by using the power of government to shut down a multi-year, multi-million dollar project that provides fantastic housing opportunities to members of our families and friends is an action I will not take.
David G. Wortman
Mayor of the City of Warren
Editor’s note: Your Daily Local launched in September 2020
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