Saturday, August 06, 2005

37: "Statistics"

It is time to dispel the myth that Adams County desperately needs jobs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor publishes a monthly statistical analysis of employment statistics by county, including the seasonally adjusted raw and percentage employment/unemployment statistics. They can be found at the
County Profiles page on the Department’s website. As this little gem will attest, at 3.7 percent Adams County indeed has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the state, tied with several other counties in the region, and surpassed only by Franklin County (3.5%). The State unemployment rate is 5.0 percent, a little below the national average. Here are some comparisons:
  • The eight counties of northeastern Pennsylvania (Carbon - 5.8%, Columbia - 6.2%, Lackawanna - 5.6%, Luzerne - 5.9%, Monroe - 5.0%, Pike - 5.1%, Susquehanna - 5.0%, and Wayne - 4.4%) have an average of 5.4% for the region. Adams County is at 3.7%!
  • The eight counties of northwestern Pennsylvania (Armstrong - 6.1%, Cameron - 6.2%, Clarion - 5.1%, Crawford - 6.1%, Erie - 5.4%, Elk - 5.9%, Forest - 10.1%, and Venango - 5.9%) have an average of 6.4% for the region. Adams County is at 3.7%!
  • The five counties of the Philadelphia area (Philadelphia - 6.9%, Bucks - 4.0%, Chester - 3.9%, Delaware - 4.7%, and Montgomery - 3.8%) have an average of 4.7% for the region. Adams County is at 3.7%!
  • The six counties of the Pittsburgh area (Allegheny - 5.0%, Armstrong - 6.1%, Beaver - 5.8%, Butler - 4.9%, Washington - 5.6%, and Westmoreland - 5.5%) have an average of 5.5% for the region. Adams County is at 3.7%!
  • The eight counties of South-Central Pennsylvania (Adams - 3.7%, Berks - 4.9%, Cumberland - 3.8%, Dauphin - 4.3%, Franklin - 3.5%, Lancaster - 3.7%, Lebanon - 3.7%, and York - 4.3%) have an average of 4.0% for the region. Adams County is at 3.7!
It should be easy to compare the region surrounding Adams County, with other regions around the state and see clearly that bringing jobs to Adams County should NOT be a priority! Yet investors like Chance Enterprises, who want to put up the casino in Gettysburg, and their developer, Robert Monahan, and their host County’s commissioners, and their host township supervisors all parrot the same line of “bringing needed jobs to “Adams County”.

Frankly, they are less than honest every time they say it. What they are really saying is they want to bring jobs, people, and beaucoup construction projects to Adams County so they can line their pockets. The casino is one of the first, and while people are focused on the casino, other developers are sneaking past the public eye and getting their projects approved by township after township, borough after borough.

Want a large site to develop in Adams County? Go to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Site Search page and start plugging in your desired parameters.

We entered “Search by Land”, Search by County”, sites over 10 acres, no maximum, and checked all the boxes for zoning: Commercial/Office, Business Park, Retail, Industrial/Manufacturing, and Special Purpose, then selected “Does not matter” in reference to the property being in a Keystone Opportunity Zone.

These three properties come up:
  1. On the southwest quadrant of the US 30/15 interchange 107 acres.
  2. On the northwest quadrant of the US 30/15 interchange - 71 acres.
  3. On the northeast quadrant of the US 30/15 interchange - 30 acres.

Slightly over 200 acres total, on three of the four “quadrants” (corners) of the US 30 and US 15 interchange just east of Gettysburg. The fourth quadrant, the Southeast quadrant, is currently being developed by Mr. Monahan for his “Gateway Gettysburg”, so we have more hotel rooms another convention center, restaurants, and an enormous movie theater. The property on the Northeast quadrant is the old Crystal Cadillac property, located between the proposed casino and US 15.

Imagine for a moment what it will look like if all these properties are developed. All four corners of the 30/15 interchange filled with shopping malls, and commercial/corporate centers. Who is going to work there? Where are those offices getting their corporate occupants? When its done, how long do you think it will take to get from Gettysburg to Battlefield Harley-Davidson? It can take as long as twenty minutes now to travel the roughly one and a half miles from Rock Creek to Battlefield Harley Davidson. Double that if these developments are built. Make it triple if the Casino is built.

Gateway Gettysburg, Mr. Monahan? More like Roadblock Gettysburg.


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Randy said...

Thank you again for such timely and accurate information. Perhaps the money that would necessarily be spent on the expansion of support services because of the proposed casino's impact (e.g., additional police, court and corrections, personal, social services, mental health professionals, etc) would be better spent on legitimate needs. Few if any of the additional services that would become necessary are fee-for-service and will therefore come from tax revenue.