Chamber Offers Support for Pipeline Project at DEP Hearing

On Tuesday, June 13, Chamber President Fred Gaffney issued comments in support of the Atlantic Sunrise Gas Pipeline Project at a hearing of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The hearing, held at the Bloomsburg High School, was specific to permits related to water obstruction and encroachment and erosion and sediment control. Pending approval of the permits, the project is expected to begin construction later this summer.

The Atlantic Sunrise Project, coordinated by Williams, will expand the Transco gas pipeline system with a new pipe approximately 185 miles long connecting the existing pipeline just north of Columbia County to southeast Pennsylvania. The project will allow more efficient transmission of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus natural gas. Construction will be divided into seven sections, and is expected to take one year. The economic impact for just Columbia County is estimated at $85.5 million.

The Chamber’s research indicates that modern pipeline technology provides among the safest methods of transporting natural gas. The Chamber Board previously passed a resolution supporting the expansion of Pennsylvania’s natural gas transportation and distribution pipeline infrastructure. Specific to this project, Williams has demonstrated its concern for property owners and the environment with the adoption of more than 400 route modifications affecting more than 60 percent of its original route.

More information on the DEP permit process is available on the agency’s website.

More information about the Atlantic Sunrise project is available here.

Downtown Incubator Seeking Office Equipment

Downtown Bloomsburg Incorporated (DBI) is leading the effort to establish a business incubator/work co-space in downtown Bloomsburg.  Currently, its partners include Bloomsburg University, the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, Kawneer, and the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center.  It has secured a location and is working to design, build out and promote this new venture. It has one of the busiest locations in Bloomsburg. 

The intention is to bring entrepreneurial-minded individuals of all ages together under one roof to share ideas and work together to start and grow their business ideas in Bloomsburg. DBI will also offer educational opportunities such as website design, social media consultation, financial projections, marketing plans and business plans for existing businesses in the community designed to accelerate their success while creating jobs and revenue for the region.

How can you help?  Like any new venture, this project has numerous needs.  DBI wants to establish a professional, first class facility for its clients. Its committee has identified a wish list of furnishings, appliances, equipment and supplies needed for the facility. It is requesting assistance in the form of donations of any new or gently used items, or a monetary donation for it to purchase the necessary items. Additionally, discounts on items and/or labor would be greatly appreciated. 

Wish List

  • Paint and painting supplies including rollers, brushes, pans, drop cloth and tape
  • Conference table and chairs
  • Printer/copier/scanner
  • Flat screen television and wall mount
  • Security camera system
  • Projector
  • Lockable filing cabinets
  • Phone system
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Pot
  • Office supplies including copy paper, hanging files, file folders, staplers, staples, paper clips, ink pens

Please contact Andy Gegaris, DBI Downtown Manager at 570-784-2522 or email with any questions or concerns.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this request.

Rescheduled Celebrate Historic Berwick Festival This Saturday

The Celebrate Historic Berwick festival, which was previously scheduled for May 13 before being postponed due to rain, will be held this Saturday, June 3. The festival started by the Chamber to encourage people to come to Berwick is now being coordinated this year by the Berwick Area Marketing Committee. Live music, ethnic food, kids activities, and competition to crown the best pizza in Berwick will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday on Market Street in front of the Jackson Mansion. There will be craft beer along with wine from Freas Farm Winery and O’Donnell Winery. Gold sponsors for the event are the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, First Keystone Community Bank, and the Berwick Industrial Development Association.

Find out more as the event draws near on Facebook.

Leadership Central Penn Class Celebrates Graduation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 18th Leadership Central Penn class celebrated its graduation last Thursday at Frosty Valley Country Club. The keynote speaker was Dr. Holly Morrison, CEO of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, and the elected class speaker was Randy Hartranft of PPL Electric Utilities. The class community service projects this year benefitedThe Women’s Center, EOS Therapeutic Riding Center, Camp Victory and the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center.  Special thanks also go out to the program’s sponsors:  Welch Performance Consulting and the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation.
 
Applications for the 2017-18 Leadership Central Penn class are now being accepted and sought. The application deadline is July 31. For more information about this program or for questions, contact Donna Eyerly.

Congratulations to the 2016-17 class members:

Athena Aardweg
Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center

Phil Baney
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Jordan Barbour
Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Nikki Dietterick
First Keystone Community Bank

Gordy Evans
Geisinger Medical Center

Wren Fritsky
Bloomsburg University

Robert Geiger
Girton Manufacturing

Kevin Gordon
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Randy Hartranft
PPL Electric Utilities

Mark Hepler
Kawneer, an Arconic Company

Artur Jagielski
Kawneer, an Arconic Company

Megan Kiliti
Berwick Area Swimming Pool Association

Brian Klinefelter
First Keystone Community Bank

Shelly Tyson
Geisinger Medical Center

Aubry McConnell
Bloomsburg University

Christiana Paradis
The Women’s Center

Hannah Sick
First Columbia Bank & Trust

Cassie Weaver
Columbia Child Development Program

Danville Business Alliance Plans to Request New Round of Facade Grant Funding

In a seven-year period beginning in 2009, the Danville Business Alliance awarded $111,000 in facade grants through its Main Street Program to assist 30 commercial building restoration project in the downtown Main Street District. Overwhelming demand had consumed almost all of the funding when the program expired on June 30, 2016. 

The program’s success was due to its comprehensive yet flexible features, including:

– Liberal eligibility: It was open to all commercial property and business owners in the Main Street District. Commercial tenants were eligible if they obtained the written consent of the building owner.

– Multi-facade application: Improvements to both side and ear business facades were also eligible, if the building had a side or rear business entrance open to the public.

– Significant funding assistance: The grants matched the renovation costs dollar for dollar up to 50 percent of the total project, not to exceed a total reimbursement of $5,000 per business facade.

– Broad range of eligible improvements: Examples which were eligible were signs, awnings, repair and/or restoration of storefront exteriors including facade painting and the cost of professional design services.

– Fee exemption: While an administrative fee was usually charged at the time of application, DBA members were exempt. 

– Local control: A comprehensive set of Facade Design Guidelines was developed and implemented by the DBA Design Committee, comprised of local business owners. The Committee reviewed the applications, determined eligibility, provided design guidance and approved the buildings to receive assistance. Projects were evaluated on the basis of quality, design compatibility and the level of visual and economic impact.

Such improvement made the business district more inviting for current and new shoppers, businesses and residents; stimulated further improvements in the surrounding, largely residential areas; and preserved the historic character and architecture of downtown Danville.

The DBA plans to apply again this summer to the Department of Community and Economic Development for up to $50,000 in additional facade grant funding to address the unmet renovation needs in the Main Street District. If approved, it is expected that the design guidelines and application process will be similar to those used through 2016. 

In order for the application to be as competitive as possible, DBA will need to document the demand for facade funding in the Main Street District. This will mean providing names of the interested parties, their addresses, the types of proposed improvements and the estimated project costs. To assist in this process, DBA is asking all interested building/business owners and commercial tenants in the Main Street District to contact the DBA office and provide that information by June 16. 

For questions or additional information about the facade grant program, please contact Jim Wilson, DBA Executive Director, at the DBA office at 570-284-4503 or stop in at 346 Mill St., Danville. Normal business hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.