Inside Your Town

Industrial park project moving ahead in Upper Mt. Bethel, Portland

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. - A plan to build out a major industrial park site in the Slate Belt has gotten the okay to move ahead.

The Portland Industrial Park, located off Route 611 and River and Demi roads in Upper Mt. Bethel and Portland, received major subdivision approval from the Upper Mt. Bethel Board of Supervisors Monday night. The project, which previously received subdivision approval from Portland, calls for developing six lots on more than 40 acres.

Two manufacturing facilities are already located within the park, the Ultra-Poly Corporation plastics reprocessing facility and Voltaix, a specialty chemicals manufacturer.

The 95-acre industrial park property is owned by Alan LaFiura and John S. McCullam, Ultra-Poly's president and executive vice president, respectively.

LaFiura said the goal is to attract light manufacturing uses to the site, which has easy access from both highway and rail.

"The transportation access is incredible," LaFiura said. "The park is right off Route 80 and trucks do not go through any residential areas to get here."

To date, two of the six approved lots are under contract, the owners said. One lot on seven acres is set to be developed with a 40,000-square foot facility for Marine Nutriceuticals. The other lot, on eight acres, would provide an expansion for Voltaix.

LaFiura said he is confident the approvals from Upper Mt. Bethel and Portland will increase interest in the remaining lots, which include sites with acreages of 11, 8, 6 and 3.5.

In other business at Monday night's meeting, Supervisor Jerry Geake praised the services provided at the Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Company to residents left without power as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

For five days, the fire company opened its doors to the community from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, providing a warm place to gather, meals, and a charging station for phones and other electronic devices.

Geake said the fire company used about $1,000 of its own supplies during the five days. As a result, the Supervisors agreed to reimburse the company for expenses it incurred to provide Superstorm Sandy-related services.

The Supervisors said many local residents and businesses stepped up to volunteer their time and donate food and other supplies to the fire company in the aftermath of Sandy.

Supervisor Chairwoman Judith Henckel said the community did an outstanding job of "coming together" under such difficult circumstances.

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