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Punt gets fourth term on economic committee

December 26, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

Punt gets fourth term on economic committee



WAYNESBORO, Pa. -State Sen. Terry Punt has been more helpful to the economic development effort in Franklin County, Pa., than U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, the director of the county's economic development agency said Tuesday.

Punt, 51, of Waynesboro, represents the 33rd District which encompasses all of Franklin and Adams counties and part of York County. He was reappointed chairman of the powerful state Senate Community and Economic Development Committee for the fourth consecutive year.

The committee oversees all economic development and tourism programs in the state and the overall $600 million budget of the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

In his four years at the helm, Punt, by his own counting, has brought more than $172 million in economic development funds into his district, including $102 million in Franklin County alone.

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The 33rd District covers more than 2,000 square miles, Punt said.

He also has been appointed vice chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said Robert Jubelirer, president pro tem of the senate. Jubelirer said Punt has done an outstanding job in the last four years working with the administration in the development of economic programs across Pennsylvania.

"I am thrilled and excited to serve in leadership on these two most important committees," Punt said. "I hope to continue to build upon what we have accomplished."

L. Michael Ross, executive director of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, said Tuesday that Punt, because of his chairmanship on the powerful state committee, has been more influential than Shuster in bringing economic development dollars to Franklin County.

Ross pointed to a $600,000 appropriation for the ongoing conversion of part of the 25,000-acre Letterkenny Army Depot into a private business and commercial enterprise. He also brought in a $250,000 Opportunity Grant to help a Blue Ridge Summit company expand, another one for $400,000 for the Chambers 5 Industrial Park and a $200,000 grant to upgrade the Chambersburg sewer system.

There have been more than 150 economic development projects in Franklin County in the last four years and Punt's influence has been felt on many of them, Ross said.

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