Burns secures economic development incentives for Cambria County

Keystone Opportunity Zone designation shows county is ‘open for business’

EBENSBURG, June 28 – Keeping his promise to put Cambria County on Harrisburg’s radar, state Rep. Frank Burns today announced he secured access to a key economic development program for Cambria County, opening the door to boundless new business opportunities in the region.

“This is the result of Cambria County’s legislative delegation working together in a bipartisan fashion to move the region forward,” Burns said. 

Burns spearheaded a months’-long effort to negotiate language into a state budget-related bill that reserves one Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) for Cambria County.  A KOZ designation allows for state and local tax benefits within specific underdeveloped and underutilized areas of the state.

“We have a chance to transform Cambria County, potentially creating thousands of jobs and redeveloping blighted properties,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “For too long, our region has been left behind, while larger cities reap the benefits of economic development.  Establishing a KOZ in our county is a game changer.”

At Burns’ urging, legislative leaders reserved a KOZ of up to 375 acres for Cambria County that can be subdivided into parcels of fewer than 10 acres. This provision ensures that even small towns with blighted parcels of land have the tools they need to attract new businesses.

House Bill 262, which contains the KOZ designation, also includes a provision providing an additional $10 million in incentives for waste coal plants that will allow them to continue to be competitive as they clean up old coal piles across Pennsylvania.     

“Cambria County has three waste coal facilities that will now be able to compete on a more level playing field, hopefully saving jobs while cleaning up old bony piles and rivers,” Burns said.

NOTE: Rep. Burns’ letter to House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody can be viewed at the following link: http://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/2019-06-28_114526__Leader Dermody KOZ letter Burns.pdf