It started with a simple question by a newly appointed Cambria Somerset Authority board member at a June meeting.

That member was Cambria County Commissioner Mark Wissinger. His curiosity about whether the CSA might explore reducing its debt by selling one of its five dams has since stirred rumors and unease at a time when Cambria is struggling to pay the authority its share of bond obligations tied to the properties’ 2000 purchase.

The Cambria commissioners sought to snuff such rumors Thursday, saying they were only “brainstorming” and have no intent on backing out of the partnership or “our obligations.”

“We’re three new commissioners,” President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder said, noting he, Wissinger and Thomas Chernisky took office in January. “We’re trying to take a close look at all of the boards under us – the War Memorial, the (Cambria County) Airport Authority and the CSA.  Our education process continues.”

“That’s why I was asking questions,” Wissinger added, saying the county has concerns about CSA financial issues, but that Cambria won’t rush into “knee-jerk” reactions.

“That’s good to hear,” Somerset County Commissioner John Vatavuk responded Thursday, two weeks after he and fellow Somerset commissioners wrote Cambria saying they have no interest in selling CSA dam assets.


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