INDIANA COUNTY: Diamond Drugs subsidiary gets OK on $1.2 million renovation
Remedy Repack, a subsidiary of Diamond Drugs Inc., of Indiana, got the green light from the Indiana County commissioners Wednesday for a $1.2 million renovation of the Diamond Drugs space at 625 Kolter Drive in the Indiana County Commerce Park.
The commissioners approved contracts with four companies to renovate the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems and reconfigure the floor plan to allow Remedy Repack to grow and expand its operations.
LouAnn Bowser, Diamond’s chief financial officer, said Remedy Repack is an FDA-certified company that takes very large quantities of medical drugs and breaks them into smaller quantities on blister cards and directly or indirectly ships them to physicians, infirmaries, correctional institutions and other customers in about 45 states.
The project will be funded through a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant with interim financing provided by the Indiana County Development Corporation and a loan through Indiana First Bank. The county will administer the grant money.
The space to be renovated formerly was occupied by BioControl Technology and should be ready for use in six months, Bowser said.
On a separate but related note, commission Chairman Rodney Ruddock said Gilbert and Joanne Zilner, owners of Diamond Drugs, for the past three years have allowed Indiana County to use some of the vacant space in Diamond Drugs’ Kolter Drive building for storing the county’s election equipment. Ruddock said the election equipment must be kept in a secure, heated and climate-controlled space that at the same time is accessible to technicians who occasionally need to work on the equipment.
Ruddock said the Zilners provided the space for free on a handshake agreement, and a comparable amount of storage space on the commercial market would have cost the county about $8,000 per month.
Now that the former storage space will be renovated for Remedy Repack’s use, a portion of the Indiana County Recycling Center building along Route 119 in Center Township will be renovated to store the election equipment.
In another economic development item, the commissioners approved an Infrastructure Revolving Loan Fund loan of $150,000 to the Indiana County Development Corporation. The loan will provide interim financing for engineering, design and permitting work at the Windy Ridge Business & Technology Park in White Township and the Joseph Land Development in Center Township.
The IRLF program was created in 2002 with funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to finance the up-front engineering and design services needed for infrastructure projects and community facilities.
February will be the first anniversary of the 211 dial-for-assistance system in Indiana County that connects callers with a live operator who can help them find human services assistance such as emergency shelter, food banks, crisis intervention, help in keeping their home’s heat on, child care and help in avoiding eviction. The calls are free and confidential.
The United Way of Indiana County and the Indiana County Department of Human Services worked with PA 211 Southwest to establish the service in the county.
The United Way provided $25,000 to help fund the 211 system for the first three years in the county and also tracks which services are being requested most often on the 211 line.
Bonni Dunlap, executive director of the county’s Department of Human Services, told the commissioners the county’s 211 system received 837 calls since last February. The top five needs identified by callers were for utilities assistance, rental assistance, housing or shelter, food and employment.
“This is the first time I’ve seen food float to the top five needs” among county residents, Dunlap said. She has worked in the county’s human services department 23 years.
In addition to the calls to the 211 system, Dunlap said her department also receives about 400 calls, emails and walk-in visits annually by residents seeking human services assistance.
The commissioners also gave approval for the county’s Emergency Management Agency to transfer five spare portable radios to the Homer City Borough Police Department. Under the lease-to-own agreement, Homer City will pay the county $2,960.40 per year for five years for the radios that will operate as part of the county’s upgraded public safety network.
The commissioners earlier this month approved a similar transfer of new radio equipment to the Clymer Police Department.
The commissioners agreed to enter into a cooperation agreement with Blacklick Township to administer the replacement of the Aultman No. 3 Bridge on Aultman Run Road. They also agreed to use money from the county’s liquid fuels account to pay half of the required 5 percent local match for the cost of the bridge replacement.
And the commissioners appointed Walter Schroth, of Indiana, to the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board as a representative from the private business sector.