Cranberry economic panel discusses business updates

Members of the Cranberry Economic Development Committee discussed updates involving local businesses and several other matters during their monthly meeting Tuesday.

Committee members noted that several businesses or facilities have either moved to or become established in the township. They include the new Veterans Affairs clinic, which is still in construction, Heplers Meats and Raymond James Financial, which moved from Oil City.

Township manager Eric Heil said Farmers Daughter on Route 257 has been struggling with slow business, and Heil asked the committee if members had any suggestions.

Susan Williams, president of the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, suggested Farmers Daughter join the chamber.

The committee also discussed ways to welcome new businesses to the area, including providing welcome letters or informational packets about the township.

On a related note, township supervisor Matt McSparren told the committee that several local businesses, including Heplers, Stillers Meats, Stubler’s Drive-Thru Beverage, Farmers Daughter and Core Goods, have begun selling local milk, which helps farmers.

A number of other topics were touched on during the meeting.

  • The committee discussed plans for the Cranberry Festival and Cranberry Expo. The festival is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 17, and will be held at the Cranberry Mall, and a possible date given for the expo is Thursday, Sept. 15, at the mall.
  • Mall manager Jeff Clark told the committee that Hogue Escape Rooms is expected to open at the mall in about two weeks, and that the Co-Op is doing well, but always looking for more vendors.
  • Williams reported that 27 students from Cranberry High School graduated from the Venango Ready program. She said they expect to have more students from other area schools join the program next year.
  • Heil told the committee the township has purchased three properties from the county’s land bank and plans to demolish the houses on the lots. Details are being worked out to fund the demolition.
  • Heil also reported that the township has been working toward creating additional river access. He said he has been in conversation with Allegheny Trails about adding kayak and canoe access to riverside property near the bike trail across from Deep Hollow Road.
  • The township has also concluded its survey to ascertain which areas are not served or under-served by internet in the township. Heil said they received about 100 surveys, and he added the township is about average for internet service, nationwide, according to the Penn State Extension website.


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