February 5, 2014 —
HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners on January 30 approved a grant commitment letter for the county’s financial role in the adaptive re-use of the former Stourbridge Elementary School as a community business incubator.
According to the letter, the building, now county-owned and known as the Park Street Complex, would house co-working spaces that will “create jobs, foster entrepreneurial activity and leverage private investment in support of business start-ups and expansions.”
The commissioners OK’d the January 29 commitment letter to Neil Fowler, state director of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which is expected to fund half the project cost, $48,275.
Wayne is to provide $18,000 in cash.
Some $30,000 would come from in-kind support, “with the understanding that funds are being sought from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant program for a portion of the local share.”
The deal commits the county to partner with the Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) in various building preparations and planning, and develop a lease agreement at project-“sustainable” rates.
The county would also commit to future maintenance and improvements “as the project matures.”
Flood buffer reconsidered
Separately, upon receiving a second notice, Commissioners Chair Brian Smith said the county panel “may need” to review efforts by downriver municipalities to move the so-called Decree Party states—New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware—to ask for an amendment to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which decided use of Delaware River water.
The new notice came from Harmony Township in Warren County, NJ, which recently joined Sussex County in seeking a 10% reduction of allowable New York City reservoir storage in order to create a hurricane/storm buffer against seasonal downstream flooding losses.