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MCIDC president says 85% of local capital improvement projects for 2020 are complete

LEWISTOWN — The MCIDC Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting Tuesday. President/CEO Nick Felice provided an update to the group covering various topics including buildings, grounds, programs and initiatives.

Concerning activities in the MCIDC Plaza, Felice shared that the maintenance department has moved into Building 56.

“Building 56 is strategically located in the middle of our compound,” Felice said. “The building itself provides adequate square footage to keep most of our equipment secure and out of the weather.”

Felice also provided an update on capital improvement projects.

“We have completed 85% of our scheduled capital improvement projects for this fiscal year,” he said. “Only item outstanding is the paving of an intersection in the middle plaza.

“In light of current events, it is good to have our big projects out of the way. We have been fortunate to continue receiving our rents on schedule. These dollars are our lifeblood, just like any other business. It keeps us operating and able to help our county businesses work through the challenges brought about by the pandemic.”

Other items mentioned included the state’s Hazard Pay Grant Program and an update on the anticipated Mifflin County Small Business and Non-Profit Grant Program. Felice described how $50 million has been made available through the Hazard Pay Program to businesses and non-profits whose workers are considered to be most at risk to exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Front line workers could be eligible for an additional $3 per hour hazard pay over and above their base rate.

“The state has included industrial development corporations/IDC’s in the mix as being able to aggregate small organization applications into a single package,” Felice said. “MCIDC is willing to assist small businesses with trying to access these funds.

“The state will likely target these dollars toward the most negatively affected counties. This will make the process highly competitive.”

The state’s deadline for application for these funds is Friday. MCIDC’s deadline is noon Wednesday.

One other COVID-19 related item pertained to Mifflin County’s share of the federal CARES Act funding. The county commissioners have been discussing involving MCIDC as an administrative partner to help the County disburse a portion of these funds ($4.1 million) to the most needy businesses and organizations.

“We see these dollars as an opportunity to help those businesses who may not have been able to qualify for other federal or state relief programs like PPP, EIDL or CDFI,” Felice said. “Program details have yet to be finalized. The chamber of commerce and Downtown Lewistown Inc. will lend a hand when we open up the application process.”

It is expected county funds will be made available sometime in the next 45 days.

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