Jefferson County is Open for Business

January 17, 2014

Local governments work together to attract jobs to area

BROOKVILLE – The Jefferson County Business Park, located off Interstate 80, is now in an even better position to attract businesses and industries to the area. Not only does the park have an ideal location, but it also now offers 10-year tax abatements to any enterprise looking to locate there.

The creation of a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone (KOEZ) within the business park was announced today by House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson/Indiana/Armstrong), Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary C. Alan Walker, and dozens of local officials who worked together to support the designation of the KOEZ.

These zones, which are administered by DCED, are geographic areas that can provide specific state and local tax benefits.   The goal of the KOEZ program is to revive economically distressed urban and rural communities with a powerful incentive – tax elimination.

“Today’s announcement is really all about jobs,” Smith said.  “We know that the people we represent are looking for career opportunities and good-paying jobs that are solid and that they can depend on. The team assembled here today has been focused on making this business park as attractive as it can possibly be for potential business growth.  The KOEZ designation can help the industrial park reach its full capacity of housing more than 25 businesses within its 166 acres. That could lead to the creation of well over 500 jobs.”

According to Jefferson County Director of Economic Development Brad Lashinsky, there is currently $4.6 million in federal, state, and local funding in place to create a pad-ready industrial park.  These funds will be used to revitalize the area and ensure solid infrastructure is in place for potential tenants.

“The collaborative effort by business leaders, area residents, as well as state and local government officials has been a key part of the Jefferson County Business Park receiving this KOEZ designation,” Scarnati said.  “Development of the Business Park is an incredibly exciting project that will help to spur economic growth and expand job opportunities in the area.  I am very pleased to be a part of this endeavor to provide our community with access to local family sustaining jobs.”

In addition to support from Smith and Scarnati, the Jefferson County commissioners, Pine Creek Township, Brookville Area School District, Brookville Municipal Authority, Jefferson County Fair Authority, and Jefferson County Development Council were all behind the application.

“Governor Corbett continues a commitment to work with local partners to bring new jobs and investment to Pennsylvania’s communities,” said Walker. “The KOEZ program embodies that partnership and has spurred the creation of nearly 40,000 jobs since the program’s inception and as zones expire, new tax revenues are generated for the state and local governments.

“On behalf of the governor, it is an honor to join Senator Scarnati and Speaker Smith today as we take another positive step forward to attract new growth and good-paying jobs to the Jefferson County Business Park,” Walker added.

Jefferson County Commissioner Paul Corbin noted that the application process involved a lot of work, but in the end everyone came together.   “It’s just remarkable to be a part of and witness all municipal bodies working collectively for the common good,” Corbin said.

CONTACT:

Kelly Fedeli – Speaker Smith – (717) 783-1633 or kfedeli@pahousegop.com
Kate Eckhart – Senator Scarnati – (717) 787-7084 or keckhart@pasen.gov