Consultants to report at Letterkenny meeting

November 11, 1996


Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County residents will get their first look Thursday at ideas for redeveloping Letterkenny Army Depot.

The downsizing military base is giving nearly 2,000 acres to the county that it will no longer use.

On Thursday, development consultants will inform the community about what they see as the best opportunities for the land, said Pam Gaudiose, executive director of Franklin County Reuse Inc.

"Everybody should have a vested interest in what happens here," Gaudiose said. "The potential for creating new jobs out here is better than anywhere."


The public meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eugene C. Clark Recreation Center on South Third Street in Chambersburg.

Earlier that day, the consultants will meet with community leaders in a series of roundtable discussions beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Gaudiose said the meetings give the public a chance to participate in Franklin County's biggest economic development opportunity.

The 2,000 acres represents about 10 percent of the depot's most developable land, she said.

Because the land is being given to the county as part of army downsizing, the county may qualify for grants or loans to attract new business, she said.

The federal government has already agreed to pay the $390,000 cost of the consultants, she said.

Several of the consultants are also working on plans for Fort Ritchie, Md., which is slated to close in October 1998, she said.

In their presentation, consultants will inform the community about the site's assets as well as its limitations.

For example, the biggest constraint to development is environmental. The army will be responsible for any environmental cleanup required, she said.

Also, the consultants will give an overview of the region's economic strengths and resources, noting what types of businesses have the greatest potential, she said.

If the redevelopment is successful, the military is more likely to continue using Letterkenny as a key missile and ammunition site, she said.

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