Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on February 29, 1980 · Page 15
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 15

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, February 29, 1980
Page 15
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Problem-solving not a fast-moving process EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final installment of a 10-part series based on the public television program "The Powers That Be" which airs at 9 p.m. on Thursday and at 7:30 p-m. Saturday on WPSX-TV. The series focuses on Clinton County as an example of county government in rural Pennsylvania. This segment looks at some of the results of economic development and waste management programs. By TOM DULAN WPSX-TV "The government" is often spoken as a derisive term, the generic label, for bureaucracy, antipathy, and semi-organized incompetence. But the commissioners of Clinton County. Pa., have been making a concerted effort to improve the image of county government along with their Clinton constituents. The way to do that, they say. is to solve problems. And in the first year-and- a-half of their administration, James Bottorf, Larry Kepbart, and James Eckert feel they have taken visible strides toward" ironing out some of Clinton's most visible problems. But, as they will attest, problem- solving in government is not a fast- moving process. Nor is it necessarily even a finite process. Matters such as economic development and waste management are on-going concerns, and both" are prominent in Clinton County today- Economic development, a perpetual concern of probably every county in the nation, became all the more critical in Clinton County last year after Piper Aircraft spread its wings and flew south to Florida. That cost Clinton plenty in tax base and wiped out some 700 "or 800 jobs. Conclusions reached by a consulting firm just a few months earlier were suddenly and sadly underscored: Clinton County needed to find alternative employment for displaced workers and to retain those workers; and the county needed to attract new firms. Several organizations already existed in the county whose purpose, at The Powers That Be ...a personal look TOP DRAWER "Where The Best Is Affordable" SALE JONES NEW YORK Take An Additional 1/3 OFF Our Entire Stock Jones New York Sportswear • BLOUSES • SWEATERS • SKIRTS • SLACKS • JACKETS Top Drawer Discount 20% -60% Every Day OLD ROUTE 119 N. (Past North Plaza) PHONE 349-2460 Open Won. & Thurs. 11 to 6 Friday 11 to 8; Sat. 11 to 5 VISA SEMI-ANNUAL C FOR MEN I WPSX-TV least in part, was to attract new industry to the area. Among these were the Industrial Development Authority, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Clinton County Tourist Promotion Agency, and being sold to a local industrial developer. and Piper is donating the proceeds — SI million — to the county. say the commissioners. That money will be placed in a revolving loan fund to help attract industries to the county. In addition. Clinton County is applying to the state for SI million in matching funds to add to the revolving loan fund. And several small to middle-sized companies recently have come into the area while some existing operations have expanded or are planning to expand. United Chem-Con Corporation. which employes about 200 workers at its Renovo plant, has won another government contract to construct postal carts. "Their projection is that they'll hire an additional 200 people to fulfill this contract." says Kephart. Woolrich. another major employer in Clinton County, plans to expand its operation, and Champion Auto Parts will add to its plant in Beech Creek. Also. Armstrong Corporation. which abandoned its Beech Creek facility in 1981. plans to return with a new operation. In addition, the commissioners re. port that a group of local investors has purchased Taylorcraft, a small Ohio firm that manufactures light aircraft, and will lease part of the old Piper facility. Ironically. Taylor and Piper were partners in Bradford. Pa., about 50 years ago. When their facility burned. Taylor moved to Ohio and Piper to Lock Haven. Taylorcraft will employ about 50 workers to start. One hangar at the. Piper facility has been taken over by Lock Haven Re-Man which remanufactures aircraft. and the other hangar has been occupied by Air Atlantic, a small outfit which distributes aircraft- Other new operations in Clinton County include Interform. an industrial printing firm which employed 50 to 100 workers to start its operation. and Keystone Bindary, which handles mail inserts. Keystone Bin- dary employs about 50 and hopes to expand to a'nother 50 in the near future. All told, Bottorf estimates 500 new- jobs have been created in Clinton County. "'I think we're on the verge of turning the corner" economically. he says. FLQRSHEIM DEXTER STREET CARS SEBAGO HUSH PUPPIES NIKE Kephart and Eckert agree. "There's no question in my mind." says Kephart. "I envision some 1,000 additional jobs in the county within four years ... and for the first time, the county will have a revolving loan fund to aid industries. And it be a perpetual fund." Another project under consideration in Clinton County — the development of a waste-incinerating plant — might, as a side benefit, help draw industry to the county by assuring that the industry's waste products could be properly disposed of. Yet another side benefit would be energy produced by the incinerating plant's byproduct — steam. But at least two nagging problems are holding up construction of a waste-energy plant. One is the cost placed at about $22 million. While they do not agree on where the money will come from, the commissioners do seem to agree that at least some will have to come from the pri- Jnbiana (Jaagtte / Wednesday. June 19, T 985 — Page 15 volume, perhaps, to make the plant feasible. If such a plant is put into operation, the projected "life" of the landfill will grow from 20 years to over, 50 years — or 40 years if Centre? County contributes its waste, the county Chamber of Commerce-." The commissioners felt that the efforts of those organizations would be strengthened if unified under one county umbrella organization, an. Industrial Development Council, and they launched a campaign for its establishment. vate sector. Their goal is to have the plant privately funded. The other problem is that Clinton's landfill does not now generate enough waste to make a plant feasible. The first step in the county's waste management plan is to control the flow of waste within the county, channeling it to the county landfill where the waste-energy plant would be located. Area haulers have protested the plan, claiming the county is restraining trade by dictating where they must make their hauls. But. according to Eckert. the commissioners hope to have a plan approved by all. or nearly all. the localities in Clinton County by early September. If this is accomplished, the next big step will be to determine whether a waste-energy plant is feasible. Cinton and Centre Counties have discussed the possibility of Centre County hauling its waste to the plant as well, providing enough NANCY RICE BEAUTY SALON will be closed June 28 and 29 Dawnettewill be available through July 16 for appointments} DO YOU NEED AN INDEPENDENT, CONFIDENTIAL MEDICAL OPINION? Governmental agencies and insurance companies are helping to reduce the frequency of hospitalization and surgical procedures by encouraging patients to be certain that treatment is necessary. If you have doubts about the need for hospitalization or surgery and would like an independent and confidential second opinion, we will help with your second opinion program. 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