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Municipal News

Monessen Mayor and Council recently adopted its first Comprehensive Plan since the Parente Administration in the 1960s. The plan, which has been in the works for several years, was prepared by Mackin Engineering and was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, as well as the City of Monessen. The City also had assistance and support from the Westmoreland County Department of Planning.

The plan was created with input from the community and stakeholders, civic leaders, government officials, neighboring municipalities, as well as county and state input.

The city has already reached many of the goals in the Comprehensive Plan, such as adopting new ordinances to address blight and vacant property, hiring a Code Enforcement Officer, and improve the Code Department.

The Comprehensive plan builds upon and works in conjunction with two previously-existing city plans, including the Midtown Redevelopment Project (an Urban Renewal Plan) (2012), and the Early Intervention Plan (2016). Mayor Shorraw says “there is a lot of overlap between all of the plans. With the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, this gives us serious tools, goals, and data to continue to make necessary changes to improve the city.”

Starting in 2020, Monessen has started seeing increased growth in the City. At least six buildings in our Downtown area have been or are in the process of being renovated in the past year.” said Mayor Shorraw. “We’ve also seen several small businesses open up, even during the pandemic.”

The City Treasurer’s Office noticed that in 2019, the City collected $50,079.71 in Real Estate Transfer Tax. This amount is about average for the City. However, in 2020, the City brought in $176,882.46 – a substantial increase.

The Mayor noted that properties have been selling at an increased rate across the City, due to growth occurring in the suburbs and exurbs around Pittsburgh, including in Westmoreland County. “We have a large number of vacant houses, many of which are tax delinquent and can be purchased for a reasonable price. We (the City) are willing to work with anyone to help them acquire these properties, as long as they commit to renovating them, and getting them back on the tax rolls.” Shorraw said.

There is renewed optimism in Monessen, with the hope that this new Comprehensive plan can usher in a new era of growth for Monessen. The plan can be view on the City’s website at www.cityofmonessen.com. Anyone interested in starting the process of acquiring a property in Monessen can contact Monessen City Hall for more information.

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