CLEARFIELD – The board of directors for the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC), held a regular monthly meeting in January. Several project updates were given relating to key projects in various stages of planning and implementation around the county.
New board members, KC Lezzer, Lezzer Lumber; David Schultz, Forum Energy Technologies; Joe Kelly, Northwest Savings Bank; and Peggy Amon, Amon Shimmel & Walsh Realtors, were welcomed to their first official meeting.
Rob Swales, chief executive officer, reported Race Street Brewery has requested $37,500 from the Clearfield County Industrial Development Authority (CCIDA) Revolving Loan Fund in participation with other loan funds from area agencies. The funds, he said, will be applied toward the purchase of brewing equipment and renovations to Suite 2 in the Alliance Park Building on Spruce Street.
The Loan Review committee approved the request contingent upon bank approval and participation from North Central’s Loan Program. The anticipated start-up is this spring, said Swales.
A brief update about DuBois Logistics cold storage operations was presented to the board, according to Swales. He said the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) mandates as follow-up to the 90-day notice previously given to the employees of Local 23 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in November.
He said that this provided notice of a potential layoff or permanent closure situation due to a loss of a major customer. He said that Rapid Response Coordination Services of Harrisburg was notified and no immediate action is necessary at this time.
So far as the Howe’s Leather Brownfield remediation project, an update was provided for the new board members. The 26.5-acre site, Swales said, has been engineered for an industrial redevelopment project spearheaded by the CCEDC. Upon environmental cleanup and demolition of the existing concrete structures, he said the site will be redeveloped as industrial park expansion from the fully occupied Curwensville Industrial Park.
A mandatory contractors meeting was held on-site in December for bid participants, said Swales. Bids for the project are due Feb. 28 and will be accepted in March. In partnership with the Howe’s Liquidation Trust, the CCEDC will pursue Act II Environmental Relief of Liability for the concrete areas, as well as the slurry/sludge lagoon, he said.
Upon completion of the industrial park, Swales said it is estimated six to eight parcels of land will be subdivided to provide opportunities to sustain 5,000 – 20,000 square foot business facilities.
“Conservative figures show new business development on the sites will not only create additional jobs in Curwensville, but that it will also increase local real estate tax revenues by at least $120,000,” he said. The demolition and remediation phase of the project is anticipated to commence late spring.
Swales reported several updates in regard to the Clearfield Riverfront Redevelopment Project. A real estate closing occurred for the “new” Men’s Shelter on 11 N. Front St. on Dec. 27 and the subsequent transfer of this property to Catholic Charities in conjunction with the transfer of the “old” Men’s Shelter located on Water Street to the CCEDC.
The CCEDC, he said, has coordinated efforts with the Catholic Charities to continue using the Water Street facility while renovations to the new shelter are implemented over the winter months.
The building previously owned by Rishel Construction has been demolished and ownership of the parcel has been conveyed to the CCEDC. The building previously owned by Dave & Tina Reed, formally known as the Tool Shed, has been purchased by the CCEDC, said Swales.
Discussions, he said, continue with other stakeholders. The CCEDC anticipates soliciting bids for the construction of the riverwalk and park development along the riverwalk this spring.
Swales reported the top three percent of site selectors in the world will be attending the Site Selector’s Guild in Denver in late February. Swales and Paul McCloskey, vice president of energy and business development, will be meeting with the Site Selectors to discuss opportunities available in Clearfield County.
According to Swales, the CCEDC is partnering with the state Department of Community & Economic Development, along with the Governor’s Action Team, Greater Pittsburgh Alliance, Greater Philadelphia and Greater Reading Economic Development, to showcase the Commonwealth. He said that marketing material showing the site selectors the unique qualities of our area will be personally distributed, as well as fielding their questions relating to industrial recruitment.
In addition to the Guild, Swales and McCloskey are partnering with PECO Energy to showcase an event with 10 of the site selectors highlighting the county’s existing industrial clusters, emerging opportunities and specific data relating to our infrastructure capacities and natural resources. In advance to the Guild, he said contact has been established with 18 of the 30 in attendance to date.
International investment was discussed and shared with the board, said Swales. A World Forum for Direct Investment, he said, will be held in June in Philadelphia. This will be the first time the forum is to be held in the United States. The CCEDC, Swales said, plans to participate and investors have already expressed an interest to visit locations in Clearfield County during their tour of the Commonwealth.
The CCEDC is a private non-profit, membership organization serving the business and industry of Clearfield County to promote job creation, job retention and to diversify and enhance the economic base of Clearfield County.