October 5, 2011 —
The time for marketing the new business park has arrived after years of development and growing pains. Begun in 2002, the park had its problems like any other large public project but now that’s all behind them.
“We’ve invited a number of local and tri-state realtors to have a look at what we have done here and that we are ready for occupation,” said Mary Beth Wood, executive director of the Wayne Economic Development Company (WEDCO), who are developing the park. So far, the park has a public water system, wells, water collection lines and 1,800 feet of graded and surfaced roads.
“The sole purpose is the creation of local jobs,” Wood said. “We have installed two water tanks, one with 80,000 gallons of potable water and another with 230,000 gallons of non-potable water that will be used for processing, landscaping and fire suppression,” she said. “If a business wants to put in green components, it is already there in the infrastructure.”
Sterling Township has approved nine lots to begin. More are expected. So far the project has cost about $9.3 million, chiefly for land acquisition and infrastructure development.
Efforts to create the park began in July of 2002 with the award of $40,000 from the PA Economic Development Agency (PEDA) and a $50,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Council (ARC).These grants were followed by the purchase of 252 acres and a guarantee from Wayne County of $2 million. On the following December, the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a total of $4,550,000 for the park.
“We are well on our way for future phases of the park,” Wood said. “We are putting up some money to do some site preparation on individual lots.” The numbers don’t work unless we put additional investment in, so we’re looking for additional funding, she said.
“The project has a lot of potential,” said David Hoff, executive director of Wayne Memorial Hospital, who is president of WEDCO. “It is very close to I-84. There are no four-lane highways in Wayne County so this is a big advantage. We also have a trained workforce in the county available and ready to work.”