The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 1, 2012

Jackson nears deal to buy parcel for business park

MUNDYS CORNER — Jackson Township officials are laying the groundwork to buy the final tract of land needed to build a Route 22 business park.

The township has entered into a tentative agreement with a Westmoreland County-based engineering firm to subdivide Waste Management property into separate lots to allow a 33-acre tract to be separated and sold to the township, Jackson Township Manager Dave Hirko said.

The township plans to purchase the land for $78,571 and would add it to 97 existing acres north of Route 22 to pave way for the planned, multimillion-dollar park.

“We’re not there yet but this is another important piece of the puzzle,” Hirko said Monday.

The land is currently undeveloped, he said.

The agreement with Benchmark Engineering will be reviewed by the township solicitor before it becomes final, Hirko said. A few details remain to be to be worked out, he added.

Once the purchase is complete, the township would use funds generated through timbering on another part of the business park land – a Chickaree tract – to purchase the addition, he said.

Much of the other land was acquired through a land swap with the state two years ago.

The township has been planning a large business park north of Route 22 for years, saying it could create up to 800 jobs alongside the busy highway corridor.

Public water was brought to the land in the past decade, and the township has applied for state funding to bring sewage services, too.

It would be part of an estimated nearly $4 million project that would also bring public sewage to the township’s Fords Corner area, including Pike and Whitetail roads, said township engineer Rich Wray, of Hegemann & Wray.

The project would likely be divided into phases, with two of them likely totaling $3 million in work needed to supply public sewer infrastructure to the business park lot, he added.

“Until we get sewer services onto (the land) we can’t build the park,” Hirko said. “But it’s the last hurdle we’re facing.”

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