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Slate Belt YMCA project offically underway

By LVEDC Staff on June 18, 2013

LVEDC President Don Cunningham, third from left, joins other partners in the Slate Belt YMCA project during a groundbreaking ceremony June 7th.

A ceremonial shovelling of dirt June 7th marked the official commencement of construction for the Slate Belt YMCA project.

The transformation of a structure built in the late 1800s as a railroad repair shop for the Lehigh-New England Railroad and later became the headquarters and distribution center for Scotty’s Fashions in 1963 will now have an entirely new life.

That new life involves providing Slate Belt residents with the tools they need to develop a lifestyle that includes a focus on their health and fitness.

The project was the culmination of many factors and contributions, according to Judge Craig Dally, Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. The property was donated by Tighe and Neil Scott, the sons of the late Scotty Fashions’ owners, Mr. and Mrs. Amilio Scott. The project also received two other central pieces of funding – a $1 million Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant and match from the Green Knights Economic Development Corp. in the same amount.

The Slate Belt YMCA also received $400,000 from the Pennsylvania Finance Commission. Many elected officials were cited for their work, along with members of the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority. Dally specifically commended Alicia Karner, economic development administrator, Northampton County, and IDA members Francis “Bud” Hackett, Marilyn Lieberman, Phil Gauffreau, John Dittbrenner Jr, and Michael Moorehead.

Still the project wouldn’t have come to fruition without some help from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and specifically the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative.

“A few months ago we had the building, the grounds, and the funding required for Phase One of the project, but we had hit a roadblock,” Dally said. “In order to someday have full-day summer camp or childcare, the property must pass environmental testing…The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, through their Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative, helped us obtain grant funding and arrange cost-sharing to cover the enviornmental testing.”

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham was in attendance and a member of the ceremonial groundbreaking ceremonies.

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