Land purchases anticipated in Pa. development budget

September 05, 2000

Land purchases anticipated in Pa. development budget

By DON AINES/ Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Extensive capital improvements and land sales are anticipated in a 2000-2001 budget for the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority approved Tuesday by its board of directors.

"At this point we're dealing with about $5.7 million in partially grant-funded improvements," Authority Executive Director John Van Horn said.

Also planned are $1.35 million in capital improvements that would be funded, at this point, exclusively from revenues generated from land sales at Letterkenny Army Depot.

The federal Economic Development Administration and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development will pay more than $3 million, including more than $2 million in road improvements and another $1 million for a new water tower and extending water and sewer service to the depot's Hills District.

The authority would match that with approximately $1.6 million, Van Horn said.

The authority will spend another $1 million to improve Cargo Road, which is also in the Hills District, Van Horn said. Another $350,000 will be spent for improvements to the depot's reservoir spillway, installing monitoring equipment at the reservoir and building improvements and demolition, according to the budget.


Van Horn said the authority spending on Cargo Road, the reservoir and building work could be reduced if additional federal or state funding is approved in the upcoming year.

The road improvements are being made in advance of those roads being turned over to Greene and Letterkenny townships, which will own the roads once they are relinquished by the Army, he said.

The authority's main source of revenue in the budget year beginning Oct. 1 is an anticipated $8.3 million in land sales. Van Horn said about half that would come from settlements in purchase agreements with business park tenants now leasing buildings, including six 90,000-square-foot warehouses.

Approximately 1,500 acres of the depot were declared excess property after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted to downsize Letterkenny in 1995. That excess property is being transferred to the authority for development of the Cumberland Valley Business Park.

The Army has turned over more than 200 acres to the authority and a transfer of an additional 400 acres is expected in early 2001, Van Horn said.

In addition to settling with companies now leasing buildings, Van Horn said the budget projects sales of some 70 acres in the Heartland District and another 22 acres in the Gateway District near what was the depot's main entrance.

The budget anticipates $15.9 million in revenues, about triple the current year - including land sales - more than $4.5 million in state and federal subsidies and almost $2.3 million in electric revenues paid by the Army and business park tenants to the authority.

Projected expenditures are $10.7 million, more than twice the $4.6 million in this year's budget, according to authority figures. The extension and improvements to roads and utilities are part of the authority's overall plan to attract businesses and industries to the business park.

"It's going to be an extremely busy year at the Cumberland Valley Business Park," Van Horn said.

The Herald-Mail Articles