More plans, more jobs promised; Let time be the judge

Hotels. Restaurants. Retail outlets. A truck wash facility for the natural gas industry.

Those were the plans outlined at a recent Williamsport Area Transportation Study meeting.

The job numbers projected from the plans total more than 700. The plans and projected job creation are the latest in a series of developments that have been announced in recent years, many of them hotel or motel related and most of them in conjunction with the natural gas drilling industry’s presence in the area.

Depending on the person, some residents roll their eyes in cynicism at these plans while others are thrilled at the announcements.

Taking a look around, the physical change from all these announced plans is obvious, particularly in downtown Williamsport, where much development has taken place in recent years.

A lot of the development involves lodging and restaurants and there is a school of thought that the saturation point has been reached.

But at the WATS meeting, one plan in Fairfield Township centered on a Cambria Suites development and another plan in Hughesville calls for a Best Western hotel. So we will see.

This much we know. People who develop these plans don’t plan on flushing money down a toilet. They plan on succeeding. A lot of market analysis goes into these plans.

Likewise, the gas industry doesn’t spend millions of dollars in preparation of drilling sites without a plan to fully take advantage of that investment, either today, tomorrow or years from now. There is a tendency to judge the industry and the developments related to it in the crucible of a day. In reality, the viability of both should be viewed through the viewfinder of years.

The experience of recent years leads us to view these plans optimistically and be hopeful of the jobs promised. The region’s economy could certainly use both the development and the jobs.