Progress is being made for the area known as the Route 208 Corridor, with the organization heading up those efforts helping a number of communities work together for everyone’s benefit.
Rick Dillaman, chairman of the Springfield Township board of supervisors, and Lucy Wann, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Cranberry Township, recently gave an update of the 79-80 Interstate Development Corp.; both are board members.
“We’re trying to catch up and get ahead,” Wann said of continued growth in the area, especially Springfield Township.
IDC, made up of businesses and individuals, assists with economic development and similar projects in eastern Mercer County, and they’re reaching out to areas including Slippery Rock, Mercer and New Wilmington.
For the past year, they’ve been moving forward with expanding water and sewer services to help support a number of new businesses with plans in the works, and to hopefully attract more. Springfield Township, the main focus, is nearing capacity for those utilities.
Those business ventures include the Shoppes at Springfield Commons and London Towne Shoppes, both in the area of state Route 208 and Veterans Road, plus hotels, restaurants, a gas station, winery and more.
The sewage treatment plant that serves Springfield, Grove City and Pine is in Grove City; Buhl Community Water Co., which is small, serves Springfield.
Attorney Tim Wachter has been hired as a consultant for IDC, and work in the last few months has included gathering data and information from Springfield, Grove City and Pine and Liberty townships, Wann said.
That data is being assessed for possible utility expansion, with IDC and Wachter helping coordinate and facilitate everything among the municipalities to reach a solution.
IDC is also getting help from the Mercer County Industrial Development Authority and Penn-Northwest Development Corp., which has access to grant opportunities and great relationships with state officials in Harrisburg, Wann said.
“I think we have excellent support,” she said.
She’s been attending Springfield Township meetings to learn as much as possible, and keeps in mind the Penn-Northwest impact study that took a detailed look potential job growth, tax revenues and benefits for entities like Grove City Area School District – if plans for water and sewer expansion fall into place, paving the way for more development.
Also high up on the list is community involvement and educating people on what changes are coming, Wann said, noting that joining IDC is a great opportunity for local business owners, and anyone interested in economic development.
“We’re not separate,” she said of how members cooperate well and look at the whole picture together.
IDC is getting closer to reaching a resolution for accommodating the area’s growth, with each municipality examining the hurdles, Wann and Dillaman said.
“We’re making great accomplishments,” she said.
Springfield Township supervisors recently began discussions about possibly creating their own municipal authority for water and sewer services; it’s in the early stages, Dillaman said.
Just past Springfield Township is property for another exciting project – Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, which will build on state Route 258 in Liberty Township, en route to Slippery Rock, Wann said.
The business closed on the property Feb. 11 and plans to open its first phase by Christmas, eventually bringing about 150,000 visitors a year and about 40 new jobs starting off.
“It is moving forward. We’re really excited about it,” she said.
Those who want to learn more about IDC and upcoming projects will have a chance next weekend; they’ll have a table at the Grove City Trade Show, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 7 in the Physical Learning Center at Grove City College.
“They have a passion for their community,” Wann said of those already part of IDC.
For more information about IDC, call 724-458-6410 or visit 79-80idc.com
Published Feb. 28, 2015, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.