Commissioners add Tanger Blvd. upgrade to Local Share list

Barbara Miller
Observer Reporter

The Washington County commissioners on Thursday added $440,000 improvements to Tanger Boulevard to the list of 2019 projects to receive funding from the local share account of gambling proceeds from The Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

The boulevard from Racetrack Road to a fenced-in area at the rear of Tanger Outlets will be brought up to standards required by South Strabane Township.

Tanger Boulevard’s “thickness and compactions don’t meet our specifications,” said Brandon Stanick, South Strabane Township manager, on Wednesday.

The road needs sub-base repair including a bituminous concrete binder course and a new surface, plus curbs and catch basins for stormwater. Also included in the six-figure amount are engineering and inspection fees, Stanick said.

The South Strabane project, along with others on the most recent list the commissioners approved in December, will be forwarded to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for its final say.

“There is no date to it just yet,” Stanick said.

The local share money for the upgrade had been allocated to a previous infrastructure package related to development that later fell through.

South Strabane supervisors two years ago rejected a master plan for developing the site for Ensinger Inc., which proposed a North American headquarters, light manufacturing space for plastics fabrication, offices and a robotic warehouse system on 30 acres adjacent to Tanger Outlets.

Chapman Properties, owner of the 158-acre tract, also proposed a hotel and retail development as part of mixed-use subdivisions.

At that time, the rejected master plan called for a 2,888-foot portion of Tanger Boulevard to be taken over by the township.

A few months later, Ensinger announced it would stay in North Strabane at Meadowlands Boulevard.

Asked if any new proposals are being vetted for use of the property adjacent to Tanger Outlets, Stanick said, “Not to my knowledge. This is just long-range planning, and improving the road will help facilitate development in that area.

“That’s the goal.”

William McGowen, executive director of the Washington County Redevelopment Authority, said Thursday that money now being designated for Tanger Boulevard actually goes back to the first year of the Local Share Account in 2008.

What was known as a redevelopment project called “Canton land acquisition” at the former Molycorp site never resulted in a transaction with the owner, Chevron Corp.

The board of commissioners approved an amendment in 2012, McGowen said, but more time elapsed without the money being used.

“The money went back into the pot to encourage economic development in the area, including the Chapman property,” he continued.

“We track the projects and the money meticulously.”