Schuylkill County Economic Development to get a boost | Business

The Schuylkill County Industrial Development Authority is receiving $750,000 for a development project at Highridge Business Park.

The county-approved authority, formed to bring industrial and economic development, received the state redevelopment assistance program grant.

RCAP provides grants for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

“This is all just speculation, which means no company has been selected for the site,” Frank Zukas, president of Schuylkill Economic Development Corp, said Monday.

A description of the project says it will include construction of a site for a 75,000 square foot build pad with stormwater upgrades, utility extensions, freeway access and landscaping .

Zukas said the platform will be built in the Highridge Business Park East, opposite the Travel Plaza site and next to the Ashley Furniture building. It will be at exit 119 of Interstate 81.

Zukas said the authority applied for the grant in March 2021 with SEDCO as the applicant. Funds must first be spent and then they are refunded, he said.

“They (RCAP officials) have approved an invitation to submit the application” to the Budget Office, which administers the program.

Early work will begin for the project “very late in 2022 or very early in 2023,” Zukas said. It could be completed within 90-120 days.

There are 13 businesses in the 2,000-acre park in Butler, Foster and Cass townships between I-81 exits 116 and 119.

Local legislators Rep. Tim Twardzik, R-123, Butler Twp. (Schuylkill County) and Sen. David G. Argall, R-29, Rush Twp., commented on the grant funding in a joint press release.

Twardzik said, “In today’s industrial development market, it’s imperative to have sites that are licensed and ready to go for discerning prospects. Highridge Business Park has brought thousands of good jobs to our county with top employers such as Wegman’s, Walmart and Lowe’s. The taxes paid by these companies have supported schools and our communities. This is another great investment in Schuylkill County.

Argall said, “This state investment is a huge boost to SEDCO’s efforts to further develop Highridge’s business park and help employees and employers in our area.”

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