Altoona holds public hearing on spending $19.6 million: flooding is top concern

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The city of Altoona has been awarded $19.6 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, and they’re asking the public for input on how to allocate it.

The first listening session was held Tuesday at the Altoona High School. Flooding was the most common concern among those who spoke at the meeting.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in 26 years,” said Altoona resident Gary Evans. “This’ll be the fifth time I replace the carpet.”

After a year of financial hardship due to the pandemic, residents said paying to fix water damage isn’t easy.

“To have the expenses of a ruined car or having to replace carpet or redo your basement, those aren’t feasible for everybody,” said Altoona resident Bridgette Jackson.

They’re asking for improvements to Altoona’s flood zones.

“Stormwater’s certainly at the top of the list and I think everybody that I’ve talked to feels the same way,” said Omar Strohm, Altoona city manager. “It’s just a matter of putting together a plan to address those issues throughout the city.”

Another public hearing on how the American Rescue Plan money should be used is scheduled for August 16 at Penn State Altoona.

“I never thought in my lifetime such money would be coming to the city,” But as you can hear from the folks talking tonight, there’s a lot of need in the community.”

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