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Old 03-24-2017, 07:12 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,459 posts, read 47,032,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
The small towns are there because the houses that people live in are still there. There are probably a couple hundred coal patch towns in Western PA that only exist because there were once a local coal mine. Here is an example of a coal patch or company town. HEILWOOD, PA Heilwood has no stores or places to work within 10 miles yet the majority of the houses are inhabited. What do you suggest doing with these towns? And what problem would it solve?



Virtually all human services in these rural counties is located in the county seat. What would you do with the roads? Once they are built, how do you stop maintaining them?



I think rural post offices were discussed on here recently. It is difficult to eliminate rural post offices but one has recently been eliminated in my county.

I think the government jobs in these areas are exaggerated. There is some potential for school consolidation but the building exist and it involves increased transportation costs and lengthy bus rides in many cases. Other government jobs are with the State Police and PennDOT, but these are regionalized. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of human services jobs are located in each county seat. Most county seats are not located close enough together to consolidate services. You might as well just merge counties so as not to duplicate services.


You wouldn't necessarily get rid of buildings in a school consolidation. What you would offload is some, but really not much, administrative cost. Forest and Warren Counties are each consolidated as a County school system and they both still have separate buildings scattered throughout the County for all levels.


Most, if not all, PA school systems already share some specialized services through the various Intermediate Units and even, in some cases, regional Vo-Techs.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:59 PM
 
607 posts, read 376,092 times
Reputation: 628
Default Will population growth become obsolete?

I know that this affects all areas in the country, but this population loss seems to be a major problem for PA cities and counties especially.

I was thinking about how more jobs are becoming automated and there are more remote job opportunities.

Will population growth become obsolete or will the need for new people in an area become completely redundant? Or will cities and counties have to "adapt" and attract population in ways other than creating jobs?

I don't know if that's really possible either. I mean, the only reason left for people to move to a region like Erie is job opportunities, since modern air conditioning and other factors contributed to the need for Erie to be populated obsolete.

I hate the future. I wish it was like the old days like the 1950s or 1960s. Sorry if I come off with angst.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
6,562 posts, read 7,414,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
Abandon some of them, they have no purpose to exist anymore, especially if they were only established as a town for a mill or a mine which hasn't existed in decades. The residents skew elderly and few young people stay in these places. I've heard PA has one of the most extensive rural road networks in the US and a population continuing to drop year after year.
How do you abandon a town? Remember the problems with abandoning and relocating the town of Centralia? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia_mine_fire

People are going to leave a house they own or rent cheaply. Where are they going to move for a simlar cost of living? Plus you have elderly people who have lived there all their life and plan on living out their life in that house. If you look at the town of Heilwood that I pointed out, there are around nine square blocks of company duplexes packed together in an isolated area. The people live there cheaply and aren't leaving. Yes, the elderly die and someone buys the duplex for $10K and pays $700 a year in property taxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
You wouldn't necessarily get rid of buildings in a school consolidation. What you would offload is some, but really not much, administrative cost. Forest and Warren Counties are each consolidated as a County school system and they both still have separate buildings scattered throughout the County for all levels.

Most, if not all, PA school systems already share some specialized services through the various Intermediate Units and even, in some cases, regional Vo-Techs.
Yes, that's what I was inferring that there is typically no immediate savings from consolidating buildings. Armstrong has consolidated over time, first with merging Dayton and Shannock Valley high schools when they built West Shamokin, and they merged Ford City and Kittanning high schools when they built the new Armstrong high school. Ligonier eventually closed Laurel Valley merging it into Ligonier Valley HS. Many of the Laurel Valley HS students chose to to cyber school, which eliminated the cost savings the district had anticipated from closing a building.

In 1965, Fairchance-Georges and German Township School Districts joined the Albert Gallatin SD. There were three high schools: Fairchance-Georges, German Township, and Albert Gallatin. In 1987, the district merged the three high schools into one building.

Other districts such as Mifflin County and Blairsville-Saltsburg still operate two high schools. Mifflin County operates Lewistown and Indiana Valley high schools. Blairsville and Saltsburg have two campuses 18 miles apart. They are trying to separate into two districts.

I could mention Woodland Hills but that is a whole different story.
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:46 PM
 
Location: New York City
7,104 posts, read 6,205,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostee View Post
Or will cities and counties have to "adapt" and attract population in ways other than creating jobs?
This.. and any possible climate issues that may arise over the next 100 years will make PA more attractive.

And not all of PA is losing population. Southeastern PA, Lancaster, and Lehigh areas are all still growing.. not dramatic, but still positive growth.

Western and Northern PA are the struggling sections.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
626 posts, read 423,578 times
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In the the long term, yes. We can't grow perpetually given there are only finite resources.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
13,231 posts, read 13,465,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
I think rural post offices were discussed on here recently. It is difficult to eliminate rural post offices but one has recently been eliminated in my county.

I think the government jobs in these areas are exaggerated. There is some potential for school consolidation but the building exist and it involves increased transportation costs and lengthy bus rides in many cases. Other government jobs are with the State Police and PennDOT, but these are regionalized. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of human services jobs are located in each county seat. Most county seats are not located close enough together to consolidate services. You might as well just merge counties so as not to duplicate services.
FWIW, there's only a handful of counties I would consider abolishing in PA. Cameron, Sullivan, and Forest because they are so small in population. Montour County is a bit bigger (and has a real population center in the form of Dansville) but it's geographically quite small and could be merged into Northumberland or Columbia quite easily. Besides that I'd leave the current county structure alone.

I think PA should reform local government in general though. Ideally we'd set the minimum size for boroughs at say 3,000 (or even 5,000) and force those which are smaller to fold back into the surrounding townships.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Washington County, PA
4,064 posts, read 4,003,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post

Virtually all human services in these rural counties is located in the county seat. What would you do with the roads? Once they are built, how do you stop maintaining them?



I think rural post offices were discussed on here recently. It is difficult to eliminate rural post offices but one has recently been eliminated in my county.

I think the government jobs in these areas are exaggerated. There is some potential for school consolidation but the building exist and it involves increased transportation costs and lengthy bus rides in many cases. Other government jobs are with the State Police and PennDOT, but these are regionalized. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of human services jobs are located in each county seat. Most county seats are not located close enough together to consolidate services. You might as well just merge counties so as not to duplicate services.
What I meant was very small rural counties should merge services with other nearby small counties. Tionesta is the largest borough in forest county and it has less than 500 people! Honestly driving to oil city isn't that unreasonable.

And for road maintenance, it would be a turn back program. I'll use forest county again (primarily because family owns a camp there and I'm very familiar with the area). Any road that sees less than a certain number of vehicles or trucks per day shouldn't be maintained by the state. The local government should maintain these low volume roads - if they are built correctly by the state and turned back to the locals, they should last their entire projected life span due to the lack of traffic.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:08 PM
 
45 posts, read 37,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I'm not a Debbie Downer about the city like bluecarebear is; however, I also don't think a lot of people on this sub-forum care in the least bit about the dwindling number of neighborhoods that will be affordable to the middle-class in the coming years if the city continues to rapidly gentrify. My partner and I are both transplants who love the city but have been unable to secure gainful employment here. He makes $13/hr. I make about the same after taxes as an independent contractor. We would have been solidly middle-class here back in 2010 when I moved here, but now I feel like we've slipped to lower-middle-class for Pittsburgh, and I'm unhappy about that since it's just because our employers don't value our hard work ethic.
Everywhere is expensive these days. Pittsburgh is on the less expensive side of things. If housing was cheap in attractive neighborhoods in town that would indicate low demand. You can't have it both ways. I hear Youngstown has some cheap rentals but would you want to live there?
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:53 AM
 
11 posts, read 8,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicalmoe View Post
Everywhere is expensive these days. Pittsburgh is on the less expensive side of things. If housing was cheap in attractive neighborhoods in town that would indicate low demand. You can't have it both ways. I hear Youngstown has some cheap rentals but would you want to live there?
This isn't true unless your focus is just in cities. Get out of the cities to the 90%+ fly over zones in every state and rents plummet back to numbers not seen in cities since 1980's.

Rents are cheap in Youngstown because of the overall bleak reality of the metro and especially so in Youngstown proper. Rents are higher in some areas and lower in others. The very worst neighborhoods someone might offer you a house literally for free. It would be the equivalent of getting a shack in the central Hill District as a gift.

Youngstown is a bad place and near top lists for all sorts of negative statistical achievements per capita. It's also one of the poorest designated metros in the US. Of course everything should be somewhat cheaper there.

Sure, market demands drive prices, or sellers would be forced to lower prices in desirable neighborhoods. Basic economic rule there about knowing the market and setting your price to capitalize.

Problem with Pittsburgh isn't that it's low expensive compared to other cities. Problem is that the prices have gone up way too fast. Along with silliness goes the taxes which have increased also for everyone.

While taxes might not matter to someone buying a $300k place that would be $700k elsewhere who just look at the taxes as part of the cost and still less, it matters to the majority of the citizens in Pittsburgh who struggle paycheck to paycheck.

Allegheny County has not adopted at last check the approach done elsewhere (notably California since 1977) of setting tax value based on purchase price. So like elsewhere in the Commonwealth, you will have a new single family rehab they want $300k for, but it really was a < $100k property prior to private rehab. Taxes on it are based on that < $100k. Score for the person buying who is use to high purchase price. Loss to tax rolls per se as inferred value should be the fair market value and add 200k or 20 taxable mills to that property. That puts money in the coffers for the city, for the schools, etc.

===============

Pennsylvania is doomed. Beautiful natural scene, ugly leadership and citizens all over the state. Corruption remains a major reason why things stay the same and/or decaying in population zones in PA.

It has become too expensive for businesses to pay the local officials off and endless rules and regulations that increase cost and complexity of even the most approachable and simple businesses.

When you have this combination of increased operating costs for non income production (i.e. paperwork) and endless payoffs, it becomes unbearable. Put that together with a very broken and non uniform and often entirely wrong property tax situation that PA legislature continues to hide from. Why would a business want to open in most PA localities? Too many unknown variables and fighting for the limited dollars of often lower to aspiring middle income wage earners - many of those via inflation and years of wage stagnation find themselves without extra money to buy anything and struggling to make monthly necessity bills.

If you spent enough time in Pennsylvania, you will also discover that in so many counties the major employment / income source tends to be government (lots of union and pensions) and Walmart (pays so little and forces their workers to collect from the public dole).

Add to that those living off pensions and social security and uncounted masses that we just ignore statistically who are not in any traditional way in the workforce.

What do we have? Massive HUMAN non productivity.

This isn't a new thing either. The roads and bridges and the sorry shape they are in throughout Pennsylvania didn't happen through decades of thoughtful investment and common preventative care. This happened by thoughtlessly and selfishly giving contracts (did I say bribes and kickbacks) to lousy companies who lowest bid and weren't held to high workmanship standards. Many places chose not maintaining the infrastructure at all.

The very same wreckless spending and whack-a-mole approach has been applied throughout the Commonwealth to all sorts of large piles of dirty spending. See education and outcome vs. investment.

In many ways Pennsylvania continues to exhibit senility. Unable to remember how things were and too physically weak to make the trek over a few mountain tops to the next state in any direction to see how the neighbors are doing better with the very same climate in most ways.

It's not always that the neighbors are doing better either. It's seeing and considering other approaches, consolidation, cost buying pools, etc. Instead Pennsylvania continues like a unified collection of 1000's of Balkan-like states within it's borders - multiplying costs massively because two school districts abutting one another can't figure out to merge for the sanity of everyone.

Tax financed spending in Pennsylvania has to be one of the worst ROI's of any state.

Perhaps it's the aging population that is the problem. Retirees aren't reproducing Retirees aren't working often either. The pensions and 401(k) plans that all comes from tax chip ins and continued Wall Street gambling - which encourages more market manipulation and volatility that doesn't math out to anyone with have of any IQ point to apply.

Fact: Pennsylvania is 4th among all states for percentage of its population born in it's state.
The top 3 are: Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.

72.9% of Pennsylvania's 12,702,379 population (as of 2010) were born in Pennsylvania.

Therefore Pennsylvania in many ways is a State where people do not visit (or at least after they visit they don't want to stay). Where migration isn't happening. Where people born often remain there.

Perhaps the Keystone state needs a new slogan to capitalize on the stickiness effect. Perhaps a statewide incentive financially to encourage more native reproduction. Don't laugh, Russia has been doing this and so have other countries with slagging reproduction rates.

Economy remains a big problem in Pennsylvania. There is plenty of productivity there, but it isn't 1960 with workers sharing in the bounty. More and more the income is driven to owners and corporate brass instead. Much of the employed workforce is employed under service sector which is broad but often low pay - especially when inflation is taken into consideration.

According to Census stats, only 4.2% of PA citizens work from home. Seems like another lagging number but probably low in all 50 States. Idealistic people seem to push remote working as solution. Sure it's nice and ideal, good luck finding opportunities that will allow such work arrangement and pay living wage and also afford time away from work.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:12 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,491 posts, read 19,339,793 times
Reputation: 15425
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercerme View Post
If you spent enough time in Pennsylvania, you will also discover that in so many counties the major employment / income source tends to be government (lots of union and pensions) and Walmart (pays so little and forces their workers to collect from the public dole).
Pennsylvania has the sixth-fewest local and state government workers per 10,000 population of any state in the U.S. As for Walmart, it's the largest private employer in the United States.

I don't have the time to refute any more of your post this morning, but I had to highlight that paragraph of yours specifically because I had resources at my fingertips that made it incredibly easy to refute. It makes me wonder what else you got blatantly wrong in your diatribe, to be honest.
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