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New industrial development moves forward in Oxford Township

The 92-acre vacant lot located at 299 Brickyard Road in New Oxford will be redeveloped into new industrial parcels in a deal brokered by the Adams Economic Alliance (EAE). The deal will include a ten-year decreasing tax abatement for the developer.

The property, currently designated as “blighted,” has been purchased by ERY Properties LLC and will house a wood pallet manufacturing business and a wood wall panel manufacturing business. One or two other parcels may be sold or leased in the future.

“The county and the EAE have the philosophy that we would rather develop areas that are brown fields or vacant rather than developing on agricultural land. This is perfect. It was an industrial use for so many years. We were able to clean it up and fix it up and put it back into industrial use,” said EAE President Robin Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said the property was unique in that it had two rail lines and that the new businesses would provide living wage jobs.

The site, formerly home to a concrete brick and block manufacturer, is requiring substantial redevelopment. “A lot of mining had been done,” said Fitzpatrick. Those mines have to be identified and filled in for safety.” The project also requires wetland reclamation.

ERY will make road improvements and construct a new municipal road, but has asked for tax abatements to help cover the development costs.

Both Oxford Township and Conewago Valley School District have approved a plan to provide a ten-year decreasing abatement of taxes on the new businesses using the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Act.  Adams County is expected to approve the plan at its meeting on May 4.

According to the agreement the taxing agencies will continue to receive the same tax that is currently being generated on the vacant lot. Once the buildings are complete the county will reassess the value of the property. EYR’s taxes will increase steadily for ten years until they are paying the full amount.

“This is an extremely beneficial project for Adams County,” said County Commissioner Jim Martin. “It’s one of the bigger economic activities that we have in the county at the moment.” Martin congratulated the team for putting it together “There’s a lot of moving parts,” he said.

Featured image notes: Pictures A and B: man-made mining trenches filled with water. Pictures C and D: remaining debris from former brickyard buildings and operations.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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