MERCER COUNTY —
Two sites overseen by Greenville-Reynolds Development Corp. were designated Monday as Keystone Opportunity Zones by the state.
Under the program, businesses and property owners locating in a KOZ are eligible to get reduced state and local taxes. Also, projects settling in a KOZ are given priority consideration for state funding under various community and economic building initiatives.
The former Damascus-Bishop Tube Co. site in the Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park received the KOZ designation for future development. The 32-acre site in Pymatuning Township is well known by motorists passing the industrial park on Route 18 as a local eyesore.
Damascus closed the tube plant on Dec. 31, 2002, and the site has been vacant since.
“There is an excellent prospect to return the site to a productive use thanks to this designation by the state,’’ state Sen. Robert D. “Bob’ Robbins, Salem Township, R-50th District, said in a news release.
“The KOZ program offers tax abatement and incentives that make the location a prime site for redevelopment and restoration as a productive part of our local economy.’’
The second site includes 199 acres of the Reynolds East Business Park in Delaware and Hempfield townships.
“This is a proactive step in developing a strong partnership between the state and local officials in moving forward to enhance this area to create job-friendly environment and make it available for business development that can produce family-sustaining jobs,’’ state Rep. Michele Brooks of Jamestown, R-17th District, said in the news release.