HAMLIN -- The Wayne Tomorrow! Action Committee took a field trip in September to visit the Hamlin area and the Sterling Business & Technology Park.
The morning began at the Hamlin Area Community Library, where Library Director Lynn Scramuzza gave the members a tour of the lower level of the building, which the Board of Trustees plans to transform into a community room and co-working space.
A tenant that occupied a portion of the lower level has left, and the library plans a renovation project, which Scramuzza said will also include the purchase of modular furniture on the upper level as well. “If we can move the furniture around, we can do a lot of exciting things in terms of fundraising,” Scramuzza said, mentioning indoor miniature golf or an escape room event.
The Hamlin Library has also been working with Wayne Tomorrow! to create a Community Hub, where residents can access a variety of services from education and entertainment to telemedicine and business support. Scramuzza has also been working with The Stourbridge Project to provide a co-working space to serve individuals now using the Honesdale space.
The Wayne Tomorrow! Community Hubs Task Force has submitted an application for an Appalachian Region Commission grant to support the development of a network of these community spaces, including a current effort in Newfoundland.
From the Library, the group traveled just a few miles south on Route 191/196 to the Sterling Business & Technology Park, where Wayne Economic Develop Corp. Executive Director Mary Beth Wood provided an overview of the development of the 23-lot park, which is Wayne County’s only Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone.
Wood explained the two businesses operating in the park have enjoyed the significant tax break it provides, but added after the initial designation expires, the property taxes to be collected by county and local government in 2024 is estimated at more than $52,000 compared to the less than $8,000 in taxes the property generated before the project.
WEDCO has been working to prepare sites and construct shell buildings to lure employers to occupy lots that have already received their final subdivision approvals from the Sterling Township. The next is construction of a 40,000 square foot prefabrication shell building on lot three, pending a $1 million state-funded Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.
Wood also discussed plans for a small walking trail to a picturesque stretch of the Wallenpaupack Creek where workers can have lunch or just relax.
Finally, the group visited the new Hamlin Fire & Rescue Station on Route 590. Chief Steve Price provided a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities that include multiple equipment bays, administrative offices and crew space.
While the building currently has a kitchen to serve fundraising events in the bays, the structure can be easily expanded for an event hall. Price said the project was many years in the making, and the company hopes to make it available for community use. The company dedicated the new station on Sept. 17.