Increased activity expected this year
By LAURA JAMESON
LOCK HAVEN — With some activity with The Fallon Hotel, a near completion of First Quality Tissue’s third plant and buildings previously owned by Woolrich Inc. being place for sale, members of the Clinton County Economic Partnership expect a busy year.
CCEP President Michael Flanagan recently spoke with one of The Fallon’s new owners and heard good things.
“They have an ambitious schedule,” he said.
The historic building’s newest owners, who purchased the property on March 1, have yet to make themselves known.
In other news, First Quality Tissue reports construction progressing on its newest tissue machine as well as the building and related items.
The facility is expected to be completed by late 2019 and ready for an early 2020 start up, Flanagan said.
Construction involved in the building is expected to speed up this summer with 900 contractors expected in the spring, he said.
“Right now is the time they’re starting to ramp up with contractors,” he said.
Flanagan is excited for the amount of economic growth the county could see thanks to the new plant.
“It’s just a great success story,” he said.
Woolrich Inc.’s outer buildings have been put up for sale or lease, but no determination was made on the larger mill portion which closed its doors in November 2018 costing 40 people their jobs, he said.
The mill sill houses a lot of equipment, he said.
“We’re continuing to keep tabs on what Woolrich would like to do with the buildings,” he said.
Transportation and Facilities Committee Chair Dan Harger said he and other committee members toured the outer buildings.
The county will be in good shape regardless of who purchases the buildings, he said.
Pine Creek Township has also agreed to work with CCEP in the event the buildings are sold, he said.
“We (CCEP) are going to work with anyone who buys it,” he said.
Harger also urged CCEP to continue marketing the Lamar Township Business Park.
The park houses BJ Services, a gas company which currently employs 200 people both local and transfers from West Virginia.
“We need to continue marketing Lamar Township and properties in the area,” Harger said.
Harger spoke about the new ATV trail system being promoted in Renovo as well as other area trailways that should see heavy traffic this summer.
“This county’s going to be real active this summer, you can see it coming,” he said.
CCEP is experiencing a very successful “promotional show” season this year, Tourism/Chamber Director Julie Brennan said.
The partnership spends the winter months going to various shows and events, promoting the recreation opportunities the county has to offer.
“Winter’s the time where we go promote the heck out of Clinton County,” she said.
The partnership has participated in the Early Bird Sports Expo in Bloomsburg, the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg and the Pittsburgh Outdoor Show with plans to exhibit at the Kettle Creek Outdoor Show in Crossfork the end of this month and Where & When Travel Fair in Lancaster in April.
CCEP will also participate in the Central PA Spring Outdoor Show in Mill Hall in May and the ‘Wellness in the Wilds’ show in June, Brennan said.
These events have extended the promotional period but “that’s a good thing,” she said.
The Bald Eagle Valley Trail held its grand opening Wednesday afternoon which saw close to 100 people, she said. Brennan expects the new trail, which is planned to connect to the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Lycoming County, will see a large amount of traffic.
“(The trail) will bring hundreds of thousands of people here,” she said.
The yearly visitors guide is in the processing of being update and should be out in April, she said.
CCEP is also collaborating with Lock Haven University to design a map highlighting the downtown area.
“They have a lot of students and parents asking for information,” she said.
The map will highlight businesses and restaurants in the downtown area and make it easier for students, parents and other visitors to navigate the area, she said.
Brennan reminded everyone that applications for the 2019 Clinton County Tourism/Recreation Grant are due April 1 at the county Planning Office.
So far they’ve received two applications and hope to see more, she said.