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Hollidaysburg manager pact dropped

Partnership, council agreement on main street position won’t be renewed

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The borough’s most recent three main street managers haven’t lasted a year.

They are pulled too much between tasks assigned from both the Hollidaysburg Community Partnership and the borough, which shared the employee, borough council members said.

“Our main street managers have not had a very good track record,” Councilman Patrick Plummer said Thursday during the council’s monthly meeting. “It hurts because we don’t have anyone out fundraising for events right now.”

The Main Street Manager acts as a liaison between borough government and local businesses, and also coordinates events to attract people and bolster business in the borough, including various festivals, the summer concert series and cruise in.

The partnership is a volunteer-driven organization that coordinates similar events, streetscape improvement projects and business retention and recruitment programs. Its SpringFest, a sidewalk sale featuring many vendors, is coming up May 18.

The salaries for the borough’s main street managers have been split between the council and the partnership since 1993.

However, the council voted 6-1 Thursday to not renew that agreement with the Hollidaysburg Com­munity Partnership after the current agreement ends this year. Councilman Jeff Ketner cast the single vote against dissolving the council’s agreement with the partnership.

In February, council accepted the resignation of Main Street Manager Jordan Futrick, who was the fourth person to leave the role since 2015. Futrick’s salary was $33,000.

The redefined borough manager position would not eliminate the partnership, council members stressed. If it works out, the borough will fund the salary for its own borough manager and the partnership would raise funds to hire a part-time staff member to coordinate with the borough manager, council members said.

Partnership President Sharee Buterbaugh commented Friday about the borough’s decision to terminate the agreement.

“We are going to keep this on a high, positive note,” she said. “Those two folks will work together to come up with great ideas for the residents.”

She foresees the borough spearheading the larger events, leaving the partnership to rely on memberships and to create its own fundraisers, she said.

Toward that end, she said the partnership has reorganized and restructured with a new committee for marketing.

“We want to keep a good dialogue between the borough and the partnership,” she said. “We want to make Hollidaysburg a destination point and create avenues to bring in dollars.”

“We are happy the borough recognizes us and we want to stay in connection. Hopefully, going forward it is a good working relationship.”

Borough Councilman Sean Burke echoed Buterbaugh’s feelings.

“I want the borough to hire the manager and gain control, but I do not want to foreclose possibilities with the partnership,” he said. “We want to run these programs the same way, where we have a lot of community support. So if that means having our staff member available to help with certain activities, then we need to be open to that.”

The main street manager job has been advertised. Council President Joseph Pompa said he is hoping to begin interviews soon.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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