July 31, 2008

PA DEP Grant to Help Restore Former Everett Hardwood Property


Contact: Lauri Lebo of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, +1-717-705-4931

EVERETT, Pa., July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced state support today for a unique public-private partnership aimed at rehabilitating what is believed to be Bedford Countys oldest industrial building.

The partnership -- between DEP, Everett Borough, and the owners and tenants of the Everett Hardwood building -- is working to address and correct the environmental and public safety concerns at the Everett Hardwood Business Park, which will pave the way for new growth, said DEP Deputy Secretary Jill Gaito.

From the early 1800s, the former Everett Hardwood building played a significant role in the areas hardwoods lumber industry and its overall economy, said Gaito. But with increased competition and changing markets, the activity at this site slowed and the local economy languished. The project were announcing today will help bring new life to this facility, create new opportunities here, and preserve the regions heritage.

Gaito said the state will invest $200,000 to support the boroughs efforts to demolish and remove four dilapidated structures that have limited the business parks growth potential. The grant will also fund an assessment to determine the environmental issues that are present at the site, such as possible soil and groundwater contamination.

The poor state of the outbuildings on this property have stymied economic growth and pose a hazard to the community, said Gaito. The investment were announcing today will help remove these obstacles and help us to understand the extent of the environmental challenges facing this site.

Once we remove the buildings and address the potential contamination, well create a site thats attractive to businesses, expands the tax base, generates revenue for the borough, and creates jobs for the hardworking people who call Everett home, she said.

Once work on the site is completed, one of the propertys existing tenants, Clingerman Doors, plans to expand its custom garage door business and create as many as seven more jobs.

The property owner is also looking at opportunities for a local company to move to the site and capitalize on the region's resources and spur the development of alternative energy.

The $200,000 grant was provided through DEPs land recycling program. The site is also eligible for state and federal brownfield funding.

More information on the Pennsylvania Land Recycling Program is available at www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: brownfields.

CONTACT:Lauri Lebo

(717) 705-4931

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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