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Lancaster City Council is on board with County Council in hopes of getting federal grant money to help develop the Lancaster Air-Rail Industrial Park.
At its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, council voted unanimously to give city staff the go-ahead to apply for an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant with Lancaster County.
The vote was 6-0. Councilwoman Jackie Harris was absent.
County Council voted to seek the grant during its Feb. 11 meeting.
The two councils are working together on the new park, which is off S.C. 9 near the Chester County line. This $422,500 grant would help fund water and sewer-related infrastructure work.
City Administrator Helen Sowell and engineer Bryan Tripp gave City Council members details during Tuesday’s meeting.
There’s already one company wanting to set up inside the park – Fancy Pokket, a baked-goods manufacturer headquartered in New Brunswick, Canada. It pledges to create 68 new jobs in five years.
The company wants build a 34,000-square-foot facility on 13 acres near corner of Mt. Nebo Church Road and S.C. 9. Officials hope to eventually attract more businesses.
Last year, City Council voted to spend up to $900,000 on water and sewer work, including the installation of two sewer pump stations.
“This grant application will request funding for one of those two pump stations,” Sowell said in a memo to City Council.
“Since the first company (Fancy Pokket) will only bring around 60 jobs with an $8 million investment, (an advisor to council) does not believe EDA will consider funding more than then above mentioned $422,500.”
The city would get $217,962 of the grant, which would reduce its total expenses for this part of the park to $682,037.
County Administrator Steve Willis said he expects to get official word by late May or early June if they received the grant. He sees it as beneficial across the board.
“This will help get the infrastructure in place,” Willis said. “The county and the city will benefit from working together. It makes good sense for the taxpayer.”
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152