Six counties in the Southern Alleghenies region want to find ways to build stronger communities. 

Alleghenies Ahead is a 16-month comprehensive plan to identify critical issues expressed by residents. 

The six counties include Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset. 

Huntingdon County planning director Mark Colussy spoke highly of the collaboration. 

“We truly believe that if you can look to things from a multi-faceted way, you’re really going to have better ability to have success,” Colussy said. 

Colussy said the plan addresses eight ‘big things’ residents in participating counties would like to see improvements, including:  

  • Broadband capacity and access
  • Gaps in the housing stock
  • Recreational amenities and natural assets
  • Agriculture
  • Blight and abandonment
  • Lack of coordination and capacity
  • Business development

The collaboration makes it easier for each county to get funds from the state, according to Colussy. 

“We could get a lot of great efforts out of that, so we’re actually able to save each one of the counties quite a bit of money, Colussy said. 

Officials in each county encourage residents in each participating county to complete surveys to learn more about what residents think will provide communities long-term stability.