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Line-item's fall a plus for Pa. project

June 26, 1998|By DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - When President Clinton used the line-item veto last year to eliminate funding for a project in Fulton County, Pa., Margaret Taylor said it came as a surprise.

"We were surprised because it's a water and sewer project. It wasn't anything esoteric," the executive director of the Fulton Industrial Development Association said Thursday.

She called the industrial park project "the most pragmatic" among the projects vetoed by Clinton in an appropriations bill.

The $500,000 to extend municipal sewer and water service to a proposed industrial park south of McConnellsburg was one of several projects Clinton struck from the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 1998.

That money, however, should eventually be restored as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's Thursday 6-3 ruling that the line-item veto is unconstitutional, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa.

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Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a press release that he inserted the provision in the appropriations act.

The South Central Business Park project also has received more than $1 million in federal funding from the Economic Development Administration and Appalachian Regional Commission, according to Shuster's office.

The $500,000 grant would be administered through the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Shuster.

Taylor said the association also has been approved for a $400,000 low-interest grant for the park, which would be located on 110 acres about half a mile south of McConnellsburg. She said the project is expected to cost about $3.6 million, with the balance coming from private financing.

Taylor said the authority has not purchased the land, but the project has been in the planning stages for several years. Once the park is completed, Taylor said the association hopes it will result in up to 400 new jobs over 10 years.

"When companies are interested in moving, they're interested in moving fast. This will give us the opportunity to have existing sites available," she said.

Taylor said nearby companies could choose to relocate to the park because their current on-lot septic systems and holding tanks prevent them from expanding.

The South Central Business Park will have 22 lots ranging in size from about three to 10 acres. Taylor hopes it will attract small manufacturing and technology companies to help diversify Fulton County's economy.

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