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Sat Mar 18, 2023, 01:26 PM

'Johnstown is having a moment': $24.4 million federal grant will kick-start city revival

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2023/03/18/johnstown-federal-grant-cambria-county-amtrak-pittsburgh-altoona-tourism/stories/202303190044

When Ethan Imhoff told friends he was considering applying for the City of Johnstown manager position, they told him he was nuts — if he got it, he would be the 16th person to hold the job in 28 years, including a half dozen who served on an interim basis.

“Management stability was an issue here,” said Mr. Imhoff, a native of Madison, Wis. Crippled by a declining population, cratered economy and decades of bitter political infighting, Cambria County’s biggest city had been written off as dead by many. But where others saw headaches, Mr. Imhoff, then the executive director of the Cambria County Planning Commission, saw opportunity.

A year after taking the job as city manager in January 2022, Johnstown is poised for a rebirth after receiving a federal grant of $24.4 million in 2021 that will pay to fix the city’s broken iconic Johnstown Inclined Plane, rebuild an historic Amtrak train station and renew downtown’s central square and transit center.

For Johnstown, where more than one in three residents live in poverty, winning the competitively awarded grant was like hitting the lottery. The money was the biggest award for economic development the city has received in decades.

“Johnstown is having a moment,” the 46-year-old Mr. Imhoff said.

- more at link -

I'm rooting for "Flood City" - it's almost like a mini-Pittsburgh.

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