LEWISTOWN - Board members of the Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation met Tuesday morning for their annual meeting and in addition to electing new officers and executive committee members, they discussed a handful of ongoing issues.
The board discussed the GE expansion project currently under way in MCIDC park. The 53,000-square foot, $10 million expansion project is expected to generate an additional 50 jobs, to go along with 50 jobs added in the past year.
The expansion project includes a Customer Collaboration Center, as well as a Non-destructive Testing Academy to address the acute shortage of personnel in non-destructive testing. In addition, the expansion will also provide a new fitness center and cafeteria. The project is expected to completed by the end of year, with everything fully operational by 2013.
The IDC is moving in the direction of assisting in helping with a portion of the funding needed to complete a road project on Expansion Drive, which boarders GE's property, as well as other undeveloped properties owned by MCIDC. More than half of the estimated $600,000 needed to complete project has been acquired through a state grant under the Infrastructure Development Program.
Another hot topic up for discussion during the meeting was a proposal to have the Industrial Plaza designated a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which would alleviate the state tax burden on a company/business that relocated to the plaza.
Rob Postal, President of MCIDC, said the three local tax authorities would have sign off on the proposal, which would include the county commissioners, Granville Township Supervisors and the Mifflin County School Board, prior to the June 1, application deadline.
Postal said he has asked the township and county to consider the proposal and expects to bring the topic up during Thursday night's school board meeting as well.
Postal also discussed some policy changes that are occurring under Gov. Tom Corbett's administration, principally that of "regional collaboration" of local like minded organizations pulling their resources, in addition to state financial assistance in the form of available grant money.
Postal said the state wants to see this type of regional collaboration with organizations devoted to industrial and community/economic development, before agreeing to assist financially.
In other business:
The nominating committee elected the following board of directors for the term expiring in 2016: William Hayes, Donna Holmes, Alfred Hughes, Arthur Kauffman, William Lake, Susan McCartney, Ronald Notestine, James Spendiff, Daniel Warfel and Jon Zimmerman.
The following slate of officers were elected for the 2012-2013 term: Chair Phyllis Palm, First Vice Chairman Donald M. Chapman, Second Vice Chairman William Lake, Treasurer James Spendiff and Secretary/President Robert Postal.
The following people were elected to the Executive Committee: Adele Craig, Susan McCartney, Ronald Notestine, Robert Wilson and Gary Oden.