Lebanon, Pennsylvania

another favorite. Several sites within the City of Lebanon have been designated as Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ). These parcels are situated at prime locations and businesses are given various tax incentives to improve the sites and provide stable jobs for the community. City officials work closely with the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation to market available building sites. In addition, Local Economic Revitalization TaxAbatement (LERTA) in- centives are available to encourage improvements, rehabilitation, and new construction in designated areas. Capello admits,“We struggle with the issue of propertymaintenance.The real challenge is the condition of our housing stock and we’ve been focused on landlords. Lebanon is about 60 percent renter occupied, as opposed to owner occupied and, of course, that needs to flip.We have some incen- tives in place, such as a First Time Homebuyer program that helps with funding for first time buy- ers and rehab of newly-purchased homes.Although, state and federal funding has all but dried up, and that makes it more difficult for us. It’s disappointing.” Going green is another important element in the city redevelopment.A great example is the repurposing of an old manufacturing plant into a six-story apartment building for low-income seniors. The private developer received LEED certification for that project. Today, the positives are far outweighing any nega- tives in the City of Lebanon, and people are starting to notice a difference.They often tell the Mayor that they believe the city is on the right track and they’re excited about what’s happening.“It’s also opened the door for other investors,” says Capello.“We’ve had about $85 million privately invested into city projects since I’ve been in office.And $61 million has been invested through grants.That’s huge for a city our size. I think we can be proud of that!” PREFERREDVENDORS Met-Ed,AFirstEnergyCompany- www.firstenergycorp.com Fulton Bank -www.fultonbank.com