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Commissioners Set Sights on Business Incubator

by and on June 13, 2016 11:18 AM

When Mark Higgins took office as a Centre County commissioner in January, he vowed to assist the small business community in Centre County. He immediately went to work in an attempt to bring small business incubators to both Philipsburg Borough and the Borough of Bellefonte.

A few weeks ago, the Philipsburg project became a reality when leading county business officials visited on Front Street for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the facility, which will help small businesses and new business ventures with the necessary resources and infrastructure to get on their feet.

On Tuesday, Centre County learned that progress is being made on the second of these incubators as county officials begin to look at suitable spots for such a project.

"I'm happy to say that we found a location that may work for us," commented Higgins.

He said the former Mattress World building on Spring Street may be a suitable location.

"We think it has everything we want in a building for an incubator," said Higgins. "But, we need to make sure."

As a result, the commissioners entered into an agreement with Chilton Designs LLC to perform a site visit at Mattress World to look into the structural components of the building. This contract is not to exceed $2,400. Also, the commissioners approved a code analysis and accessibility assessment with AP Architects LLC for the Mattress World building. This contract is $2,500 and will include reimbursable expenses.

"We feel this building will work for what we need it to, we just need to make sure," said Higgins.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved The Emergency Food Assistance Program agreement between the county and PA Department of Agriculture. The grant total is estimate at $78,000 for the period of Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2021;

n approved a contract between the county and The HR Office to provide consulting services for the Centre County Correctional Facility. The contract total is not to exceed $4,000 for the period of June 7, 2016 to July 15, 2016;

• Renewed a maintenance agreement between the county and Atlantic Tomorrows Office (formerly Full Circle) for imaging solution. The contract total is $3,968;

• Approved a letter of agreement between the county and The Meadows-Universal Community Behavorial Health for common purpose of information exchange, referral for behavioral health service and coordination of care in the best interest to those communities and persons mutually served. The contract period is June 7, 2015 to June 30, 2016;

• Approved the submission of a Technical Assistance and Training Grant application to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency. This application seeks funding in the amount of $1,106 to be used to create and print media materials on the dangers of opiod and heroin use/overdoses to be utilized in the campaign against drug overdoses; and

• Discussed several items that were placed on the agenda for approval at the next board of commissioners' meeting.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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