Residency requirement removed, full-time Johnstown city manager expected by Jan. 31

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Jan. 4—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A new full-time city manager could be in City Hall by the end of the month, following action Monday by Johnstown City Council.

Council gave final approval to two ordinances amending the city's administrative code, removing a provision that required a manager to establish residency with the city limits.

In recent years, the city has struggled to recruit a manager because many of those who meet the job requirements have been unwilling to move into the city.

Since former manager Kristen Denne stepped down in June 2014, eight people have managed the city for varying periods. Most served as the interim or acting city manager.

Acting City Manager Daniel Penatzer was appointed in April, with a contract that ended Monday. Council voted Monday to extend the Summerhill Borough resident's agreement through Jan. 31.

With the residency requirement out of the way, council held a closed-door executive session following Monday's meeting to discuss candidates for manager. Council expects to name a manager by the end of the month, the meeting agenda said.

In other matters, council gave initial approval to an ordinance creating a land bank through Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. The vote also gave tentative approval to $200,000 initial funding over three years from the city's capital fund budgets.

Penatzer explained a land bank purchases, manages and then sells vacant land to improve neighborhoods. Under the program to redevelop and market the vacant property, he said.

The ordinance will be advertised and made available for inspection before final passage at the February meeting.

Finally, Johnstown Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Melissa Komar described for council shortfalls in loan funding for replacement of residential sewer laterals required with the city's ongoing sewer projects. Penatzer said city officials will work with the authority to provide additional funding for loans limited to city residents. He said the proposal should be ready for a vote at the March meeting.

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