The City of Lebanon is officially the commonwealth’s latest participant in the Keystone Main Street (KMS) program.
The designation will give Lebanon priority access to funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), as well as making the downtown corridor eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits that are designed to stimulate private sector redevelopment and job creation within the designated area.
These non-transferable tax credits will be equal to 25% of total amount invested in a rehabilitation or improvement project, with a cap at $500,000 total tax credits.
According to a press release forwarded to LebTown, members of the Wolf administration will join Lebanon leaders for a 3:00pm press conference at the Lebanon County Municipal Building. We will share more details after that event.
The KMS designation was apparently effective October 3, 2018, although no public announcement was made previously. The status will last through October 31, 2023.
The overall project will be executed through a public/non-profit partnership between the City of Lebanon and the Community of Lebanon Association. John Tice, interim executive director of the Downtown Lebanon BID, is listed as the program coordinator by the DCED, and the press release says that KMS efforts are meant to complement the BID.
In addition to the financial benefits, program operators will also have access to free technical assistance from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, a nonprofit founded in 1987 to support Pennsylvania communities.
The KMS application appears to have been initiated by the Lebanon City Council in a May 22, 2017 meeting, however the meeting minutes from that date appear to have been removed by the website, as appears to be normal archiving practice. We have contacted the city admin requesting some more background info and will update this post when available.
West Chester and West Reading are both profiled in case studies on the DCED website as being past participants in the program. West Chester cited a halving in the crime rate and a rise in economic development as outcomes (PDF); West Reading achieved $2.5 million in overall investment and implemented beautification efforts that saw 82 properties painted and 13 murals create (PDF).
What do you hope Lebanon achieves with this opportunity? Share your thoughts in the comments.