Commissioners support funding ACV business park
By Randy Bartley
The Clarion County Board of Commissioners April 27 offered their "full support" for an industrial park in Butler County.
In a letter to U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-15), the commissioners requested funding for the Allegheny Township, Butler County's appropriations request for the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Business Park Sewer and Water Compliance Project.
Clarion County's support was issued in support of county residents working at the park.
"A third of the people who work in the industrial park are Clarion County residents," said Commissioner Wayne Brosius. "This will support upgrades to the existing water and sewer treatment facilities in the park. This will bring the systems in compliance."
The Allegheny-Clarion Valley Business Park, located along Interstate 80, is situated approximately two miles west of Clarion County in Allegheny Township, Butler County.
Companies presently located in the business park include:Pennwest Homes, Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corporation, UEP Parker, Allegheny Structural Components, Gardenscape, GES Graphiteand McNany Trucking.
The letter said, "The business park serves as a regional hub of commerce that generates a combined payroll of approximately $30 million annually. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 33.6 percent of the business park's approximately 600 employees reside in Clarion County, which represents the largest share of the business park's workforce.
The letter said the business park's importance to Clarion County and its residents cannot be overstated.
"Should the proposed improvements not be made, there is a risk of businesses located within the business park relocating to areas with adequate sewer and water infrastructure," said the letter. "The economic repercussions of not advancing the project would be felt in Clarion County and throughout the region."
According to a 2019 report in The Derrick, the private industrial park, owned by AC Valley Development Corp. of Foxburg, is facing current debt of $250,000 and does not have the resources to pay that debt.
At that time the owner of the property had $250,000 in unpaid bills.
The owner had no income at that time beyond fees from water and sewer service.
The sewer plant serving the park is an even larger problem. The sewer plant is operating under a consent order from the Department of Environmental Protection.
The current operating plant is 25 years old and needs to be upgraded to meet new state standards. The park owner owns the plant.