2012-05-03 / Local & State

County Hears About KOZ Program

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

STAFF WRITER

The executive director of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAPDC) sat down with the county commissioners this week to touch on the reemergence of the popular Keystone Opportunity Zone program.

Ed Silvetti informed commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher on May 1 that he had met the previous day with the Ayr Township Board of Supervisors to discuss the KOZ program and its newly reauthorized legislation.

KOZ provides an opportunity for companies to develop real estate opportunities through a reduced state and local tax initiative. Since the inception of KOZ in 1999, the program has created new jobs as well as capital investments. Due to its popularity, additional KOZ were added in the state in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2009.

Silvetti stated that SAPDC, which covers Fulton County, intends to submit a regional KOZ application to the state by this time next year. As a result, SAPDC officials are working with each of the six counties in the region to help identify possible sites for a region-wide KOZ subzone.

In other matters heard Tuesday, the commissioners conducted a late morning public hearing to take comment on proposed modifications to Community Development Block Grant contracts for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. In addition to the commissioners, Chief Clerk Dan Swain was also present for the hearing. Modifications for fund reallocation approved include changes for the Career Link Office handicap ramp; Wells Tannery Community Center; county handicap accessibility upgrades; McConnellsburg and Hustontown Senior Citizen centers; Belfast Township sewer and water; and McConnellsburg Borough sidewalks.

Chief Probation Officer Dan Miller discussed the availability of money through a Grant-In-Aid Agreement and a Supervision Funds Agreement through the commonwealth. Miller presented the applications for review and signatures.

He further pointed out, in the case of Grant-In-Aid funding, that if the county falls below 90 percent of state operating standards, it would be required to pay liquidated damages in the full amount of grant funds received. Miller added the county qualifies for around $176,000, but typically only receives $37,000 annually.

The commissioners reviewed the budget for ongoing construction and renovations with business manager Tim Stanton. Stanton noted a healthy contingency fund is in place, and, unless the county expands the scope of work being done, he did not anticipate having problems.

The group also discussed the stormwater runoff problems occurring around the Neighborhood Service Center. Money has not been set aside for the stormwater management issues, which have been outlined for the commissioners in two different proposals. The chief clerk agreed to contact PennDOT officials in Hollidaysburg to discuss the next steps needed to proceed with the project.

Last week the commissioners met with Wendy Melius, who now serves as executive director for the Center for Community Action. Melius gave an overview of the organization’s history as well as the current service offerings such as home repairs.

Based on quotes received, the commissioners announced they would begin bidding out work to be completed at the Warfordsburg Senior Center.

A contract was penned with Controls Service & Engineering Company for maintenance of the county’s HVAC systems. The company will complete the necessary work for a period of one year at a rate of $5,340.

Applications for Liquid Fuel Funding submitted by Thompson and Todd townships were approved in the respective amounts of $2,300 and $1,400.

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