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Cumberland County officials to update economic development plan

Cumberland County officials say the economic development component of the county comp plan has not been updated in at least a decade.

Efforts to do just that are in full swing, with the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp., the Cumberland County Planning Department and the Penn State Ag Extension office partnering on the update.

A series of focus-group meetings were held in September with three target audiences: business, education and municipal.

“With the economic growth and development Cumberland Valley has seen since 2000, it is an excellent time to reassess and refocus,” said Jonathan Bowser, CEO of CAEDC. “The goal is that the county’s comp plan will be the leading guide for CAEDC’s economic development focus moving forward.”

That could mean guiding efforts in business attraction, retention, expansion, funding and redevelopment/reuse, as well as recommendations on zoning and infrastructure needs.

Kirk Stoner, county planning director, said officials want to make sure the plan contain “actionable” items.

CAEDC is working to complete an economic profile of the county, which would be analyzed and incorporated into the comp plan. As the comp plan process moves forward, there will be a series of public meetings to discuss it before approved by the county commissioners, Bowser said.

There is no precise time frame for completion of the updated economic strategy, he added.

John Hilton

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