Harrisburg − July 7, 2016 − Legislation authorizing a new access road at SCI-Cresson which is considered essential to redeveloping the sprawling former correction facility was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, the new laws sponsor Sen. John N. Wozniak (D-Cambria/Bedford/Clearfield) said.
The governor signed Senate Bill 1192 into law today. The measure authorizes a public 3.3 acre right-of-way into the former SCI-Cresson prison site in Cresson Township, Cambria County.
The new access road into the former SCI-Cresson facility is a critical component of the redevelopment of the site, Wozniak said. Now that the public road has been authorized the repurposing of the old prison can move forward.
The goal is to create jobs, business development and economic energy and make the venue a vibrant business location.
Wozniak said that the new road will enable 93 acres of the 400 plus acre site to be developed first as a part of an agreement between an energy company and the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority.
In May, officials gathered at the prison to publicly outline steps that would be taken to quicken the pace of redevelopment, create jobs and put parcels onto the tax rolls. At that news conference, Wozniaks legislation was identified as a key feature of the marketing plan. The remainder of the facility was put up for sale.
I cant thank the governor, (Department of General Services) Secretary Curt Topper, Representatives Frank Burns, Bryan Barbin and Tommy Sankey, our county commissioners, redevelopment authority officials and local elected officials from Cresson Township and Cresson Borough enough for their help and support as we worked this bill through the process, Wozniak said.
The legislation was introduced in April and it moved swiftly through the Senate and the House, Wozniak said.
The lawmaker said he appreciated the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Rep. Dave Reed, the House majority leader, for helping expedite consideration of the bill. Wozniak also expressed his gratitude to former Cambria County Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder for making the original contact with the energy firm that is interested in the site.
In an effort to generate a turnaround at the facility that was closed arbitrarily by the Corbett administration in 2013, Wozniak hosted a summit meeting of state and local officials last September to devise a strategy to jump-start redevelopment of SCI-Cresson. This meeting was held on the heels of a discussion Wozniak had with Wolf about the importance of re-igniting work at the facility.