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Elected officials react to paper mill announcement

Most of Blair Counties elected officials were on hand this morning for the big announcement of the reopening of the paper mill. Senator Robert Jubelirer, Congressman Bill Shuster, Representatives Jerry Stern and Larry Sather, Tyrone Mayor Pat Stoner and Tyrone Area School District Superintendent Dr. William Miller all addressed the media at the 11 a.m. press conference.
Earlier this morning, The Daily Herald heard from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who, while not in attendance, had already put his stamp on the project releasing $3 million in the form of a grant from the Commonwealth Redevelopment Capital Assistance program.
Over the past several months, the Governor’s office, Senator Jubelirer, numerous state, federal and local officials have been working with local investors and key management from Westvaco on the project.
“This is a tremendous development, the announcement everyone has long been waiting for, but that almost no one was certain could happen. This pumps fresh life into a facility that was the economic heart of the community. It is immensely encouraging that the property and the plant will no longer be relics of the past, but instead will be productive resources for our future.” said Senator Robert C. Jubelirer.
“State funding has a substantial and important role in this project, and there was a concerted advocacy from state legislators. I
am pleased with the cooperation and assistance we received from two administrations in making this investment possible. Team Ten LLC President John Ferner and the rest of his team are the real heroes in this story.”
The Senator went on to say “this is one of the finest efforts by Marty Marasco and his economic development team at ABCD Corporation.”
Standing on the site where his father had announced his intent to run for office, U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster shared how he was pleased to play a part in today’s major announcement.
“Securing the Federal SBA funding was a critical component to access the Redevelopment Assistance Program,” said Shuster. “I was
pleased to play a part in this major economic win and job creation for Tyrone, Blair County and the region.”
“It has been a honor to support the efforts of Team Ten and their commitment to reinvest in their community,” said State Representative Larry Sather. “That commitment, once again, is a reaffirmation of confidence in the worth ethic of this area. I applaud all efforts put forth by the ABCD Corporation, the Commonwealth and, most of all the individuals of Team Ten who possessed a vision for the betterment of our area.” said Sather.
State Representative Jerry Stern said “I have a deep appreciation and admiration for these individuals who have stepped up to the plate and are investing in a great community, a quality workforce and a growing region. I am confident that this will be one of many new business ventures in northern Blair and along the I-99 innovation corridor.” Stern added.
Tyrone Mayor Pat Stoner said “This is a emotional time, it’s more then about starting the presses, and the machines, this is about going to the heart of the people. And that’s where my concern is, the effect it had on the people of Tyrone when it happened and how it has to lift our spirits and lightened our hearts now. That’s what’s important to me.”
Tyrone Area School District Superintendent Dr. William Miller also spoke at the press conference this morning.
During a phone interview with The Daily Herald, Dr. Miller said “We are all aware this has been a long process, I am very pleased that the mill is re-opening and that new jobs will bring both economic and educational growth to Tyrone. I want to thank the ABCD Corporation, the politicians and the investors who made this positive plan happen.”
All could be heard talking, while standing in the sunshine prior to the press conference, making statements that it indeed is “a beautiful day in Tyrone.”