The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 25, 2013

Commissioners pushing for foreign trade zone

EBENSBURG — Cambria County commissioners continue to support the development of a foreign trade zone at the Johnstown airport in an effort to spur economic development in the county.

At an evening meeting Thursday at Westmont Hilltop High School, the commissioners approved a $150,000 grant this year for the project, which is spearheaded by President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder.

That money is on top of the $20,000 turned over to the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority last year to get the project off the ground.

The authority, which will oversee dispersal of the funds, will deposit the grant money into a restricted account identified as an economic development fund.

Lengenfelder, a retired Air Force colonel, is using contacts from when he served as a U.S. air attache to Argentina to promote the zone.

He has said establishing such a zone would allow Argentine vineyards to save money by sending barrels of wine here for bottling and distribution by local companies.

Other possibilities also are being explored.

He recently met with officials at several embassies in Washington, D.C.

Lengenfelder is scheduled to travel to Argentina at his own expense in late February.

New maintenance chief

Christian Masci, who has been the supervisor at Duman Lake County Park, was promoted to director of maintenence at a salary of $40,000 a year. He had been paid $15.59 an hour as park supervisor.

Masci replaces Darin Brown, who was hired in July at a salary of $44,500 a year. Brown resigned to accept other employment, it was reported.

Paul Lubert, who has been the night watchman and security guard at the park, was named lead park worker with a new pay rate of $12.40 an hour.

Authority appointment

Shawn Simmers, who is with the Cambria Cogen plant in Ebensburg, was appointed to a five-year term on the county conservation and recreation authority.

Retirements approved

The commissioners approved the retirements of three county employees.

They are Garv Oleska, aging care manager with the Area Agency on Aging; Gary Ondecko, caseworker with Children and Youth Services; and Patricia Nemeth, clerical supervisor with Behavioral Health.

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