HONESDALE – The Wayne County Commissioners adopted resolution to extend the Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone (KOEZ) at the Sterling Business & Technology Park, Route 191/196, Sterling.
Mary Beth Wood, executive director of the Wayne Economic Development Corp. (WEDCO) said the KOEZ is a state-sponsored tax incentive program aimed at attracting economic investment in underutilized areas.
“Sterling Business Park is the only business park on Interstate 84 in Wayne or Pike Counties,” Wood said. “So it is easy to make the case.” All the parcels in the park received the KOEZ designation in 2013 and the tax benefits extend for 10 years, ending in 2023.
If approved by the state, the new term would begin Jan. 1, 2022 and would apply only to the unoccupied lots, not the two already developed sites that are currently in use.
New tenants would have to apply to the Commonwealth and meet specific criteria regarding new investment and job creation to receive the benefits.
Resolutions, similar to the one adopted by the County, must also be approved by the Western Wayne School District and the Sterling Township Supervisors.
Wood explained that WEDCO plans to construct a 40,600 square-foot-building on Lot 3 in next year, which is projected to create more than 50 jobs; the extension could give the new property owner almost the full term of benefits. Without it, any new property owners would only get benefits through 2023, which is not competitive in the economic development realm and inhibits business attraction efforts in Wayne County.
The Sterling Business & Technology Park is the only business park with utilities and permits in place in Wayne and Pike Counties along Interstate 84. It is the only KOEZ property in both counties.