|By Anne Danahy, The Centre Daily Times,
State College, Pa.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
October 28, 2009 --BELLEFONTE -- A future hotel and restaurant on East College Avenue in College Township is slated to be the first project in Pennsylvania to benefit from federal recovery zone facility bond money.
Centre County will receive about $2 million of the facility bond money, and commissioners agreed in September to have the Industrial Development Authority administer the money. On Tuesday, commissioners voted to approve a plan to direct that money to HFL Corp.'s plan for a Comfort Inn & Suites in the 1300 block of East College Avenue.
Trudy Mitchell, vice president for economic affairs at the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, said the commissioners' action qualifies the project for tax-free financing. That allows the bank to quote a lower interest rate for the project. The county won't have any financial obligation, she said.
The authority advertised the availability of the financing, but didn't receive any other responses. Mitchell said it would be the first one of these bond projects in Pennsylvania to be funded.
Authority solicitor Rod Beard explained that to qualify, a project needed to be shovel- ready and one that would create jobs.
The Country Inn & Suites will have about 113 rooms and a restaurant. It has been in the planning process for several years. Beard said it will mean about 70 permanent jobs after construction is finished.
College Township engineer Kent Baker said Tuesday that once an agreement has been reached on the cost sharing for a new traffic signal at Squirrel Drive and College Avenue, HFL can submit a final plan for approval and then get a building permit.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648.
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Copyright (c) 2009, The Centre Daily Times, State College, Pa.
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