The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

April 10, 2014

Developing interests

Gas-related businesses looking to build

MERCER COUNTY — Sitting squarely in the middle of the “gas action,” Mercer County is seeing significant interest from companies looking to build along interstates 79 and 80, as well as U.S. Route 19, according to Mercer County Commissioner Matt McConnell.

Without releasing the names of interested companies, McConnell said all the key players, including Mercer County Industrial Development Authority and Penn Northwest Development Corp., along with county and township officials and representatives from utility companies have all been fielding inquiries.

Along with the convenience of the interstates, the availability of locally welled gas also makes the county attractive, McConnell said, because companies wouldn’t have to pay to transport gas.

Those businesses that have expressed an interest are gas-related industries, distribution companies and other manufacturers whose product involves the use of natural gas, he added.

Randy Seitz, president of Penn Northwest, said many of the businesses checking out the county are doing so for a number of reasons, in particular the location and the availability of gas, but also the tax incentives, workforce and quality of life.

“To have access to a large quantity of gas, for a long time and at a low cost makes us a very attractive place,” Seitz said.

Additionally, a new law that limits the number of hours a trucker can drive before having to stop and rest often makes the county part of an ideal route for many businesses, he said.

“There’s been a lot of lead generation and inquires and that is some good news for us,” said Commissioner Chairman John Lechner, who added he’s impressed with the teamwork among the agencies.

“It’s working. Working like it should and in a way that I haven’t seen it work before. This started as a corridor study but it has really gone beyond that,” he said.

Lechner also said he was excited that the interest would lead to “good manufacturing jobs.”

He also mentioned eight to 10 potential developments at Grove City Premium Outlets that include a hotel and additional stores.

“There’s really some good stuff going on. I know we hear about companies moving out, but we have business moving in, too,” Lechner said.

Seitz said the county’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in eight years and he credits collaboration among the various agencies.

“The old way of doing things may have been secretive, talking just to a handful of people. Not anymore. I want us to be as transparent as possible. There’s no way we can convince a large number of businesses to move here by ourselves,” he said.

Currently, he said, talks are ongoing with a $16 billion-a-year company interested in moving to Mercer County.

And while all the interest is exciting, he said, the county still lacks some essential infrastructure. “Jamestown, for example, needs sewers. And while sewers are coming to the Interstate 80 and Route 19 interchange in 2016 that’s great, but we could’ve used them yesterday. We’re seeing tremendous growth out by the outlet mall, but water and sewer service is not keeping pace. We have 10 companies that could land out there if we have the infrastructure in place.”

‘Make it in Mercer County’ by the numbers


Months since this year’s marketing campaign began


Leads on business opportunities


Proposals sent out by Penn Northwest Development


Site visits to Mercer County by interested developers


Companies that have committed to locating in Mercer County


Number of volunteers used by Penn Northwest to attract Noise Solutions Inc. to Sharon

Source: Penn Northwest Development Corp.

Text Only
Local News
  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014