The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, chaired by Senator David G. Argall (R-29), will hold a public hearing to learn about the future of Pennsylvania's Main Street and Elm Street programs on Thursday.

"If you look at some local communities – Jim Thorpe, Tamaqua, Hamburg just to name a few – it is clear that our region continues to reap the benefits of this private sector job creation tool," Argall said.

The hearing will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 at the Carbon County Courthouse Annex (2 Hazard Square) in the Commissioner's Conference Room (third floor) in Jim Thorpe.

The committee will meet beforehand to conduct a walking tour of downtown Jim Thorpe, starting at 11 a.m. from 2 Hazard Square, Jim Thorpe.

Main Street and Elm Street programs provide state grants that are mixed with local and private funds to improve the business district and surrounding neighborhoods in older communities. The committee will look at the future of this economic development tool utilized by many local communities.

"I am hoping the array of testimony will help the committee identify the pros and cons involved with these two programs, especially as it relates to private sector job growth," Argall said.

The committee will hear testimony from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Schuylkill Community Action, Pennsylvania Downtown Center, Tamaqua Borough Council President, former Jim Thorpe Main Street manager, and Representative Bob Freeman, who authored the original law.

The public is invited to attend.

Written comments will be accepted by the committee at www.SenatorArgall.com/UrbanAffairs [1].

More information on the hearing can be found at www.SenatorArgall.com/UrbanAffairs [1].