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Governor Wolf recently announced the approval of several new projects including Verdant View Farm. The farm’s loan was facilitated by EDC Finance Corporation through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development. The loan will support not only the farm operations, but also the farm’s bed & breakfast which offers educational tours to the public.
HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf announced seven new project approvals through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), that will benefit Pennsylvania residents and businesses through promoting energy efficiency, providing farmers with crucial loan funding, and building out infrastructure to bring abundant energy to homes and commercial buildings.
“To spur economic development in Pennsylvania, it is vital for us to support our small family farmers, develop of our natural gas energy infrastructure, and help promote the construction and renovation of high-efficiency buildings that lower energy costs and help our environment,” Governor Wolf said. “These seven projects approved today support those goals and will help make Pennsylvania a better place to live and work.”
The approved projects include grants to support the renovation and construction of a highly energy-efficient school building and the installation of pipelines that will bring Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas energy resources to more than 190 residential and commercial customers, boosting economic development in the areas where the projects are located. Also, two low-interest loans were approved to small family farms that will enable the farmers to acquire land.
The following five projects were approved:
Bedford County Development Association was approved for a $100,000 grant through the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) to extend natural gas pipeline into the Bedford County Business Park II in Bedford Township. The approximately 1,500-foot extension will make the lots within the business park more attractive to prospective clients while also providing gas service to YRC Freight. The total project cost is $200,000.
Council Rock School District was approved for a $2 million grant through the Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) program for renovation and more than 10,000 square feet of additional construction on the Rolling Hills Elementary School located in Northampton Township. These improvements will lead to a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification. The planned energy-saving features include geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, automated energy control systems, low-flow water-saving fixtures, occupancy-based temperature and lighting, a 128.8 kW solar photovoltaic array, and an improved thermal envelope. The project is anticipated to reduce energy consumption by more than 1 million kBtu annually, and the low-flow water fixtures will reduce water consumption by nearly 54,000 gallons annually. The total project cost is $22,468,100.
Neal B. King and Mary Lou King were approved for a $332,500, 20-year loan at a 5 percent rate through the Chester County Economic Development Council for the acquisition of a 41.5-acre parcel of farmland located in West Fallowfield Township. The Kings currently lease the land to grow feed for their dairy herd. The funding, approved through the First Industries program, will assist with the total project cost of $738,000.
The Borough of Chambersburg was approved for a $584,100 grant through the PIPE program to expand multiple natural gas pipelines through the borough into neighboring Greene Township to provide new natural gas services for existing and future development including the site of the future Summit Health Care campus. The new construction will also provide natural gas service to the current First Church of God, the 190 homes within the Grand Point Crossing housing development, and a vacant 200-acre tract of developable land. Additionally, the borough plans to provide gas service through smaller extensions from the current natural gas pipeline to a hotel parcel and residential developments including Franklin Square, Chancellor Drive, Beechwood Lane, and Menno Haven retirement campus. The total project cost is $1,168,200.
Elisa and Patrick Fleming were approved for a $400,000, 15-year loan at a 2.5 percent rate through EDC Finance Corporation for the acquisition of a 60-acre crop and beef farm located in Paradise Township. The farm is located within the Lancaster County Amish Country tourism market and includes a bed and breakfast that offers educational tours to the public. The fourth-generation family farm is being purchased from the parent of Elisa Fleming. In addition to the bed and breakfast, the farm raises 25-30 beef cattle sold in the farm’s retail store and in bulk to restaurants. It also grows corn, hay, and soybeans that are sold locally. The funding, approved through the First Industries program, will assist with the total project cost of $947,598.