The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has received a gift of $2.5 million to support community and economic development in Cambria, Somerset and Bedford counties.
The Robert Waters Economic Development Fund was established this year through the trust fund of the late Robert Waters, a Johnstown industrialist. A committee of regional finance and economic development professionals has been established to oversee the fund.
“We’re delighted,” Mike Kane, foundation executive director, said of the gift, which is one of the largest ever made to the organization.
The Waters fund is designed to make loans, investments and limited grants to appropriate projects and initiatives, including start-ups and expansions, equity investments and loan guarantees.
“The Robert Waters Economic Development Fund adds a tool to our community’s toolbox,” Kane said. “It allows the community foundation to supplement and support the work that JARI and other economic development agencies are doing, to look at new initiatives and even business opportunities that contribute to the economy and therefore the greater good of our community.
“We are pleased to have worked with BNY Mellon Wealth Management, the managers of the Robert S. Waters Trust, to make this new community asset a reality.”
The first recipient of support from the new fund is the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, which has been approved for a loan in the amount of $250,000 for work to complete phase one of Peoples Natural Gas Park.
“JAHA used a mix of commonwealth and private funds to plan and develop PNG Park and obtained bridge financing from a consortium of local banks,” said Richard Burkert, JAHA president and CEO.
“However, project financing did not cover necessary soft costs for design, construction administration, and signage. The Waters Economic Development Fund provided the critical missing piece of financing that JAHA needed to complete this important new community asset.”
For more information on the fund or to review its guidelines, go to www.cfalleghenies.org.
Questions should be directed to Angie Berzonski, program and communications officer, at email@example.com.
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