SHAMOKIN – A representative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is was in the Valley Friday for follow-up visits on opportunity zones and the progress of economic development efforts.
US HUD Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice visited Lewisburg, New Columbia, and Shamokin Friday to follow up on those issues. DeFelice says his Shamokin visit was a follow-up to a roundtable discussion led by U.S. Congressman Dan Meuser (R-9th, Dallas) about how opportunity zones can help the city’s revitalization efforts.
DeFelice says his visit also provided more education on opportunity zones, figuring out what kind of business would work. “Some is rehabilitation of blighted buildings, others are new construction, some is new businesses. It’s a real way to use capital gains and private equity and kind of layer it, to find the best solution for that community,” DeFelice said.
DeFelice says his Lewisburg visit was to check in on the borough’s progress in economic development, and how the federal government can better assist. “Seeing how they’re using HUD funding, whether its community development block grants. We’re also seeing how they’re using state programs to battle blight, and figure out how they work, mesh, and how we can be a partner, and make sure we connect them with other federal agencies,” he said.