Multimodal, Cornplanter Square plans moving forward

Staff Writer

Two major revitalization projects for Oil City continue to move forward following action Tuesday by the Venango County commissioners.

The commissioners approved agreements with Terra Works for general construction and with IE Power for electrical work for the county’s multimodal transportation facility. Both agreements are designated for the first phase of construction.

“Phase I is construction of the parking lot across the street from where the multimodal facility is going to be,” commissioner Tim Brooks said Tuesday.

The multimodal facility, to be constructed at the intersection of Elm and Duncomb streets, will serve as the county’s center for public transportation operations.

The two-story building will house the county transit agency’s administration and maintenance staffs, equipment and storage.

Plans call for an additional 16 public parking spaces at the site.

Meanwhile, another Oil City revitalization project gaining more traction is the renovation of the former Mellon Bank building known as Cornplanter Square.

Tuesday night, the commissioners approved a deed transfer from the county to the Venango County Economic Development Authority.

The 90-year-old building was purchased by the county in 2017 with the intention to convert the multi-story structure into a high-tech business incubator, brew pub and retail shops.

“This is necessary so that we can acquire private funding from agencies who may not be able to donate to government entities,” commissioner Vince Witherup said.

The commissioners approved a letter from the county to Oil City Council formally requesting that Oil City donate the parking lot behind the bank building to Venango County so the county can take over revitalization efforts.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners appointed Kay Koyack to represent Venango County on the Crawford Area Transit Authority (CATA) board of directors, a position formerly held by Brooks.

Brooks said he was appointed as a place holder in December when Venango County formally joined CATA.

The commissioners also approved the appointment of William McClintock and Gerry Woods to the Two Mile Run County Park advisory board.

Commissioners will next meet at 6 p.m. April 10 in room 100 of the courthouse annex in Franklin.