General responsibilities are to perform those functions required for the desired growth and development of the City, including but not limited to planning, urban renewal, housing, and redevelopment. The Department, led by Director Kelly Amos Ryen and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Anderson, cooperates and works with various authorities, commissions, and City-related agencies, including providing administrative staff support for Redevelopment Authority, Shade Tree Commission, Oil City Arts Council, and Oil City Main Street Program.
Oil City's Sesquicentennial Celebration
Marina Trailhead Designation and Improvement Project
Additionally, Community Development works with local and regional organizations to create and improve the quality of life for the residents of the City. A working liaison has been established with private, public, and semi-public agencies and organizations involved in such areas as regional planning, transportation, marketplace, industrial and economic development, recreation and leisure time, human relations, and general community appearance. State and local grants are pursued for additional project funding.
The primary source of funding to support the City's Community Development Department is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The CDBG monies are federal funds administered under the direction of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds are transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a block grant, under the direction of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). DCED, in turn, distributes the funds to local municipalities according to a formula established in 1982 by Act 179. The CDBG program is intended to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally, for low- and moderate-income persons.
Citizen Participation Plan for CDBG Program
The Citizen Participation Plan is a requirement of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, intending to provide citizens with the opportunity to offer their views at all phases of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application process. Each year a citizen participation schedule is developed and available to review in the Community Development Department or on our website.
Citizen participation is encouraged during the grant application process to help the City develop projects that meet the needs of our community.
Community Development - CDBG Program
Benefit low to moderate-income persons – At least 70% of CDBG funding must be used to benefit persons with low to moderate incomes. To be eligible for an area-wide project, at least 51 percent of those benefiting must be of low to moderate incomes, as evidenced by Census data or survey.
Prevent or eliminate slums & blight – Capped at 30% of grant allocation
Address an urgent threat or need (natural disasters)
Improvements to public infrastructure in low/moderate-income areas
Acquisition/demolition of dilapidated property for the removal of slum/blight
Activities that alleviate emergency conditions
Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures
Public services (with limitations)
Removal of architectural barriers that restrict accessibility
Economic development/job-creation activities
Most activities relating to government buildings
Purchase of Equipment (with exceptions)
Operation and Maintenance
New housing construction by general local government
Community Development Initiatives
Under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, it is a violation of the law to deny housing rights for any of the following factors: age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status (families with children under 18), disability, ancestry, or the use of guide or support animals due to blindness, deafness, or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals.
The Language Access Plan (LAP) is the plan for the City of Oil City to ensure meaningful access to services for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals, in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that no qualified person with handicaps shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal assistance. Contact the Community Development Office to file a grievance.
Projects funded by the CDBG program fall under Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. One of the purposes of the funding assistance is to give job training, employment, contracting, and other economic opportunities to low-income Section 3 residents and Section 3 business concerns to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with existing federal, state, and local law regulations.
The Minority and Women's Business Enterprise Plan is to assure that small and minority/women-owned businesses are utilized, when possible, as sources of supplies equipment, construction, and services as required by 2 CFR Part 200 and Executive Orders 11625, 12432, and 12138.
Oil City's Expansive Historic Districts
Oil City is home to 3 distinct historic districts with over 2,000 parcels on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that Oil City is graced with numerous sites and structures that have significance to the history of our community, the state, and the nation. The National Register, authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, is administered by the National Park Service (NPS) under the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Oil City's largest historic district, the North Side Historic District, has 1,223 parcels named in the original National Register. The South Side Historic District houses 910 parcels while the Downtown Commercial Historic District has 65 parcels.
The Venango County Greenways Plan is part of the larger Northwest Pennsylvania Greenways Planning effort undertaken in six counties to maintain and conserve Pennsylvania's open spaces and natural resources.This plan introduces the numerous benefits of establishing a greenway network in Venango County before defining the goals and objections of creating the greenways network.
This comprehensive waterways study identifies opportunities to utilize our waterways in the 21st century to advance the local community economically and socially, while enhancing recreational and development opportunities on the waterfronts of the Allegheny River and Oil Creek located within the Oil City limits.
This evaluation was completed to highlight the attributes of the Routes 8 and 62 Corridor, the economic and historic Main Street of Venango County. The main focus of the report is community sustainability through revitalization and use/reuse of the buildings along the Corridor.
Shepstone Management Company and the Fairweather Consulting Group were employed by the City of Oil City Council to assist in the crafting of an Economic Development Strategy for the downtown areas. The study highlights Oil City's assets, liabilities, and future opportunities.
The Northern Venango County Background Analysis details trends associated with demographics, land use, resources, housing, community facilities, and public utilities in Northern Venango County. Within this comprehensive plan, the City of Oil City, Cornplanter Township, and the Borough of Rouseville were all identified as beautiful, affordable, and excellent places to raise a family. The plan is further dedicated to preserving, improving and fostering the previously-mentioned qualities.
The intent of this plan is to provide guidance for local groups and organizations who intend to develop community projects and activities in an effort to prioritize goals in line with funding, be proactive in decision making, and continue progressing through various community leadership changes.
The Master Site Development Plan was created to guide future development of the Oil City Marina. The plan aims to enhance existing facilities, improve the boat launch area, conserve and preserve sensitive environmental features, and meet the current and future recreational needs of the community. Project examples range from infrastructure and earthwork, to river access and fishing, motorized and non-motorized watercraft, wildlife habitat restoration, bicycling and walking, outdoor recreation and leisure activities, overnight parking for motorized campers, and tent camping.
Northwest Pennsylvania Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
This study concentrates on the preservation and growth of a strong, sustainable economy through a concerted effort to improve and enhance the region's infrastructure assets, educational capabilities, investment capital availability, and workforce resources to the benefit of Northwest Pennsylvania's residents, businesses, and industries.
This market assessment reviews quantitative data on socioeconomic, employment, and market trends for the City of Oil City, Venango County. It includes a review of existing conditions in the study area, previous plans and studies completed to date, and local insights from stakeholders to identify several economic development strategies for Oil City. These strategies represent a multipronged approach to community revitalization and will maximize investments at the local, county, and state levels to achieve the collective goal of revitalizing the downtown and surrounding community.