By Keith Gushard
A community revitalization effort is moving into full swing in Cochranton, but members know it won’t be easy.
“It’s going to take several years of hard work,” David Przybylek, treasurer of CARE told Cochranton Borough Council recently in giving an update of the group’s activities.
Cochranton Area Redevelopment Effort, or CARE, is a volunteer, non-profit organization bent on reviving the borough and surrounding area. It came into being about two years ago and is working to attract new services and businesses, beautify the community, provide historical preservation and advance the arts.
“It’s not a bad idea,” Ralph Bailey, owner of Cochranton Auto Parts, said, noting there are a number of empty retail store fronts in the borough. Bailey hopes the group’s efforts will come to fruition down the line.
“It’s tough in this town,” Bailey said of being a retailer. “People often drive to the next town.”
CARE is hoping to build on the fact that the Cochranton area is a good, family-oriented community. It’s starting to have some success such as Cochranton getting a satellite location of the Meadville Family YMCA within the past year.
“We’re trying to improve things in general,” Lisa Pepicelli Youngs, a CARE board member, said.
CARE notes some issues the borough’s residents face are health care related, such as not having dental, physical therapy and other medical practices or a pharmacy in Cochranton.
There also is a lack of senior citizen housing. Ideally, the group wants to have senior citizen housing located inside the borough within walking distance of the business district.
“If it’s outside the borough, it defeats the purpose,” Marsha Rynd, another CARE member, told borough council.
Another objective for CARE is getting ownership of the Iris Theatre eventually transferred to CARE and have the facility renovated and reconfigured to be a center for the arts.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate to CARE
Cochranton Area Redevelopment Effort Inc., a non-profit organization for revitalizing Cochranton, is accepting financial donations and all gifts are tax-deductible. Donations may be sent to CARE Inc., P.O. Box 552, Cochranton, Pa. 16314.
The official corporate purpose of CARE is to foster a broad range of improvements in the Cochranton community through revitalization initiatives in the areas of community planning beautification, historical preservation, education and the advancement of the arts. CARE’s targeted initiatives include the future operation and renovation of the Iris Theatre; improved medical and health services; the long-term establishment of senior housing and eldercare facilities the community.