Ribbon cut for Fulton County, Pa., business park

August 27, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Federal, state and local dignitaries were on hand to open Fulton County's first industrial park, a venture that took nearly eight years from initial discussions until Monday morning when three pairs of scissors snipped a ribbon.

The event, which took place off the new 1-mile access road leading into the Fulton County Business Park off Cito Road, was headlined by U.S. Rep. William Shuster, R-Pa., and Lt. Gov. and state Sen. Robert C. Jubelirer, both of whom praised the work of local officials in helping the project get funding.

Wendy Melius, executive director of the Fulton Industrial Development Association, said it cost $4.5 million to develop the 110-acre property, about 70 acres of which is available for sale.


Included in the total was the cost to build the access road and water, sewer and natural gas lines. The park has 19 lots for sale ranging from 1 to 10 acres with a selling price of $45,000 an acre.

So far, two companies have occupied tracts - Fulton Precision Industries and NES Rebuild. Three other companies are located on the fringes of the park, Melius said.

She said her agency has options on two parcels in the park but any decision to buy is still a year away.

Clyde Borkheimer, a member of the local development association for 35 years, remembers the association began to realize 30 years ago that such a facility was needed in Fulton County. "It was a dream, but we knew we had no chance of ever getting it. There was no money and no local infrastructure," he said.

Planning began in earnest in 1994 and by 1996 the project took on official status with the association.

"This shows that a small county doesn't have to be satisfied with small aspirations and limited hopes," Shuster said. The new park, he said, will lure small businesses and technical and service companies to strengthen the economy.

Jubelirer said "a modern business park is a considerable investment and this one has a terrific lineup of contributors."

Donald Bard, chairman of the local development association, said the business park will preserve the rural nature of Fulton County and provide it with stable employment.

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