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Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley talks economic development with local leaders

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley talks during a meeting of local government leaders at the CBICC offices on Monday.
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley talks during a meeting of local government leaders at the CBICC offices on Monday. CDT photo

One way to open up more opportunities could be to increase the availability of tax incentives and streamline the conversation process between the local governments and the state, Board of Commissioners Chairman Steve Dershem said.

Dershem said there have been instances when it made it more difficult to attract private businesses to the area because of the lag time with state response on tax credits. Businesses always need information as quickly as possible, he said.

“We need to do it faster, smarter and better,” he said, adding that the process has been smoother recently.

Cawley said filling a representative position from the governor’s office to central Pennsylvania should help with the communication effort, and that the administration has been relaying to its staff to take an aggressive approach to economic development.

He acknowledged that he and Gov. Tom Corbett understand that Centre County is a big economic driver for the central part of the state, and they need to work to make sure it stays prosperous.

“I know the health of Centre County is vital to the health of central Pennsylvania,” he said.

He also placed an emphasis on using Pennsylvania’s natural gas in the state, and said the Centre Area Transportation Authority has been a leader in the state.

Cawley said he would like to see other transportation companies in the state take the lead and convert some or all of its fleet to natural gas.

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