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County Commissioners To Unveil ‘Project 2025’

January 13th, 2020

A strategy to address two of the most serious challenges facing Potter County in the new decade will be unveiled at the next public meeting of the Board of Commissioners, slated for 11 am Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Gunzburger Building. “Project 2025” is a blueprint to reverse the steady descent of the county’s population, coupled with the growing outmigration of young adults. These trends have serious implications for the future vitality and quality of life in Potter County. Most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures reflect another 5-percent drop in population, from 17,462 in 2010 to 16,622 as of June 2019. At the same time, the county’s median age has gradually risen to 47 years, far above the statewide median of 41.

Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman have assigned two of their department heads, Planning Director Will Hunt and Community Development Director Ellen Russell, to spearhead Project 2025. Its lofty goal is to assemble stakeholders, conduct intensive research, and implement a strategy to reverse the population loss and median age growth by the end of 2025.

Some of the options are spelled out in the 2020-29 Countywide Comprehensive Plan. That document reflects input provided by hundreds of community leaders, business owners, conservation advocates, education and tourism officials, and others with an interest in the county’s future. A website will be developed to serve as a clearinghouse for Project 2025. It will include progress reports, links to helpful resources and other features.

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