Funds will be used to get the site ready.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Millennium Technology Park project got a boost from the state this week with an announcement by Gov. Ed Rendell that $7.5 million in grants and loans has been earmarked for the development of the Neshannock Township site which will be used for a high technology industrial park.
Linda Nitch, executive director of the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., said she anticipates breaking ground at the site early next year.
"It's been a long time coming," she said. "I can hardly believe it. But we're getting there."
According to Rendell's office, the funds are part of more than $20.8 million approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority for five construction grants and 10 planning grants through the Business in Our Sites program. Business in Our Sites projects work to create shovel-ready sites for businesses through land acquisition, construction and feasibility studies.
Since guidelines for Business in Our Sites were approved last fall, the financing authority has approved 64 projects totaling more than $156.8 million. Nitch said the funds will be used to get the site ready and to offset the costs of acquiring and constructing an access road, excavating and grading the site, assessing wetland areas, installing sewer lines and utilities and other engineering related projects. The park project is expected to bring at least 1,000 new jobs to the area.
Businesses such as alternative fuel manufacturers, semi-conductor manufacturers, bio-tech firms, pharmaceuticals and food manufacturers will be able to operate there.