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Letterkenny gains $370,000 for improvements

March 04, 1998|By DON AINES

Letterkenny gains $370,000 for improvements

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania is kicking in $370,000 to help the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority make improvements at the depot to parcels of land that eventually will be developed for nonmilitary use.

"This goes toward the local match for our federal grant," development authority Executive Director Pam Gaudiose said at Monday's authority meeting. She said the grant comes from the state's Department of Community and Economic Development.

In January, the authority received $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The grants will be used for renovations to buildings 6, 9, 19 and 500, demolition of tin sheds and some warehouses, replacement of a water tower and other improvements.

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Gaudiose said the money was expected and the group is hoping for a similar amount next year to make up the $750,000 local match required for the development administration grant.

Gaudiose said last month the Army could be ready to convey 239 acres of the depot to the development authority this spring. The authority awarded a transfer survey contract to Best-Angle Surveyors of Chambersburg at a cost not to exceed $25,500.

Program Manager John Van Horn told the authority that the Franklin County General Authority has narrowed its list of firms to operate the depot sewer and water systems. He said five firms submitted proposals and one has been selected for further negotiations.

The Chambersburg Area School District's board of directors last month approved an application to the U.S. Department of Education for a public benefit conveyance for 250 acres of depot land. The district plans to use the land for an environmental and agricultural education center and for athletics.

On Monday, the authority also approved a proposal to transfer the land to the school district. The district's board of directors will consider the proposal at its March 11 meeting.

"That gives the school district a lot more flexibility," Gaudiose said. It could also be quicker if the Army decides to convey the land to the authority rather than first handing it over to the Department of Education.

"As soon as we get it, they get it," Gaudiose said of this proposal. She said that if the property had to pass through the Department of Education's hands, there would be more strings attached to the land's use.

One such string is that the district would be required to begin developing the property in one to three years or the school district would have to pay the government for the land.

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