GETTYSBURG – Senator David G. Argall (R-29) addressed Main Street and Elm Street managers from across the state during the Pennsylvania Downtown Center's annual conference in Gettysburg on Monday.
Argall, who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, stressed the importance of the state's Main Street and Elm Street programs as a means of breathing new life into downtowns.
"Thank you for what you do to revitalize our downtowns," Argall told attendees. "I'm here to see if we can strengthen existing laws and learn from you to make sure laws like the Downtown Location Law are working as intended."
Argall noted his role of authoring the Downtown Location Law, Act 32 of 2000 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=1999&sin... , which requires state agencies to locate within a downtown, during his tenure in the House of Representatives
Several managers noted that state agencies in downtowns bring about economic development and provides stable commerce.
In 2012, Argall's Senate Bill 276 became law, which requires the Department of General Services to collaborate with downtown development organizations and historical societies to make sure the state does not adversely affect revitalization plans.
On October 16, the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee will hold a public hearing to get an update on the law Argall sponsored in 2000. The committee will hear from the Department of General Services, Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
"The law has led to more economic development," noted one Main Street manager.
"Our goal is to have a partner in the state when it comes to downtown redevelopment," Argall said.