$1.25 million grant OK'd for Norland Avenue project

August 28, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A $1.25 million state grant has opened the way for an extension of Norland Avenue that could result in millions of dollars in new development in Chambersburg, according to State Rep. Jeff Coy, D-Franklin.

The Infrastructure Development Program grant will be used for the extension of borough water, sewer, gas and electric lines along the 3,700-foot extension of the avenue through the Gabler Tract to Walker Road, according to Borough Manager Eric Oyer.

The funding comes through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Oyer said.

The borough had already been approved for $2.4 million through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to extend the road through 292 acres of undeveloped land belonging to the Gabler family. A $600,000 local match for the road work will be paid for by the developers, along with any expenses above the federal funding, according to Oyer.


The announcement came at the end of Tuesday's regular borough council meeting.

"The developer will invest $12 million and attract 150 full-time jobs at the project site within five years," according to Coy's letter to the borough dated Friday.

"This is a much-needed project regardless of whether Exit 17 is constructed," Coy said in the letter, referring to the much-delayed construction of an Interstate 81 interchange near the site. "We know that the northern end of the borough has been growing with new businesses and health-care facilities.

"Palisades Development Corp. intends to develop the site ... into several mixed-use projects, including a commercial retail center over the next five years," Coy wrote.

The company is developing a master plan for the development of the land, both along Norland Avenue and the remainder of the tract, he said.

The borough still needs to reach an agreement with the state department of transportation on funding reimbursement of the project before it can proceed, Oyer said. A proposal from the department is being reviewed by the borough's legal counsel, he said.

Oyer said construction of the Norland Avenue extension is unlikely to begin before late 2004 or early 2005.

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