In the fall of 2004, local elected officials, from the seven municipalities that make up the Forest Hills Area, sat down to explore the formation of an intergovernmental alliance that might result in making local government more responsive and more efficient. Local leaders knew that by working together they could plan for and carry out effective and comprehensive revitalization efforts that could have an enormous impact on the quality of life, now and far into the future. Furthermore, they envisioned that the formation of the Forest Hills Regional Alliance would be the catalyst for community and economic development.
Clearly, this approach was not about consolidation or municipal boundary changes, but rather about a multi-municipal approach, that has often been referred to as "regionalization." Rather than to continue down the pathway of fragmented government, this approach makes sense, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Brooking Institute and the Pennsylvania Prosperity Coalition..
Since the combined population of all seven municipalities comprise a population base of over 13,000 residents, second only to the City of Johnstown, municipal officials believed that such a fact might not go unnoticed by County, State and Federal officials. Moreover, by demonstrating greater intergovernmental cooperation, the opportunity for more financial assistance in the form of grants and financial awards might be forthcoming as the Alliance flexed its "political muscle."