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Cambria to get KOZ designation

From Mirror staff reports

EBENSBURG — Cambria County is getting an economic development tool, said state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Johnstown.

Burns spearheaded a monthslong effort to negotiate language into a state budget-related bill that reserves one Keystone Op­portunity Zone for Cambria County.

A KOZ designation allows for state and local tax benefits within specific underdeveloped and underutilized areas of the state.

Legislative leaders re­served a KOZ of up to 375 acres for Cambria County that can be subdivided into parcels of fewer than 10 acres.

The provision ensures that even small towns with blighted parcels of land have the tools they need to attract new businesses.

House Bill 262, which contains the KOZ designation, also includes a provision providing an additional

$10 million in incentives for waste coal plants that will allow them to continue to be competitive as they clean up old coal piles across Penn­sylvania.

“Cambria County has three waste coal facilities that will now be able to compete on a more level playing field, hopefully saving jobs while cleaning up old bony piles and rivers,” Burns said.

“We have a chance to transform Cambria County, potentially creating thousands of jobs and redeveloping blighted properties,” Burns said. “For too long, our region has been left behind, while larger cities reap the benefits of economic development. Estab­lishing a KOZ in our county is a game-changer.”

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