By David Mazzenga

HONESDALE—The Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved a request last Thursday afternoon for a letter of support by Penn's Northeast to bolster their Request for Proposal (RFP) for Amazon's second headquarters (HQ2) location.

Amazon is a Seattle-based online retailer of general consumer goods which ship world-wide.

Penn's Northeast is a regional economic development agency looking “to enhance the region’s economy through new investments, job creation and increasing the amount of potential business opportunities for regional businesses through targeted business recruitment and unique lead generation activities,” according to their mission statement.

According to a Penn's Northeast news release, they are currently scouting several areas in Wayne, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe and Schulkill counties for possible build locations to present to Amazon.

The release also states that the HQ2 is expected to provide jobs for up to 50,000 new employees, many which offer high-paying opportunities and the chance to allow senior leaders and their teams to relocate from Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Construction costs for the new facility are expected to exceed $5 billion over the course of 15 to 17 years, stated the release.

The initial build phase looks to cover a 500,000 square foot campus with plans to expand to over eight million square feet in future phases.

Grant applications

The county commissioners passed a resolution to apply for a Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) grant in the amount of $199,010.

If awarded, the money is expected to be put toward low income housing assistance.

They also passed a resolution and grant application for rapid rehousing and homeless prevention through the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Total for this application comes to $190,957.

Paving bids opened

The Board of Commissioners received bids for anticipated paving projects at the Hamlin and Hawley Senior Centers.

According to the bid tabulation form from Kiley Associates, E.R. Linde Construction Corporation's structural fill bids were $37,820.75 for the Hamlin project and $43,238.75 for the Hawley project.

The same document states Hanson Aggregates, Inc.'s base bids were $52,228.20 for the Hamlin project and $76,167.00 for the Hawley project.

All bids were marked as received and passed along to the County Engineer for review.

Other business

The commissioners approved 2017 county tax rebates to two individuals in Paupack and Damascus townships.

The appeal decision for Potter in Paupack Township came to $55.99.

The appeal decision for Thompson in Damascus Township came to $53.45.

In a separate matter, the commissioners also executed a letter of acceptance and assurance compliance for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) State Fiscal Year 2017-18 allocation.

The allocation totaled $687,960.