ROSEVILLE - Tioga County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to advertise an ordinance that would make the former Westfield Tannery property in Westfield Borough and Township a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone.
The property was purchased by the Tioga County Development Corp. at a sheriff's sale July 11.
The designation would result in 17 acres of the 59-acre property receiving 10 years of property tax exemptions, beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2023, according to Commissioner Erick Coolidge.
Once designation is granted by the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the acreage will be available to lease, to business or industry.
Businesses involved in the natural gas industry have shown interest in developing it into a business park, Coolidge said.
The ordinance must be advertised for at least 10 days before adoption, which is scheduled for the commissioners' Oct. 23 meeting, but the state must agree to the designation, he said.
The borough, township and Northern Tioga School District all are in process of approving the designation, he added.
The site also has been cleaned up and given a "clean bill of health" by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Coolidge said.
Back taxes from 2006-10 and administrative costs of $73,112 were paid by the former owners in 2011, Coolidge added.
Because just a portion of the parcel is going into the KOEZ, a value has not yet been determined on that part, according to TCDC President and CEO Bob Blair.
"This is one of those unique circumstances where location, infrastructure accessibility and a forgiveness of taxes over a period of time could be a chance to bring jobs and commerce to the area," Coolidge said.
Three of the seven parcels are being sold to adjacent landowners and will return to the tax rolls.
Three will be deeded to the borough and another will go to Electricord Manufacturing per a prior arrangement.