JESSUP -- Governor Tom Wolf paid a visit to a community in Lackawanna County tied up in a controversy over a proposed gas-fired energy plant.
Governor Wolf was in Jessup Friday afternoon to tour the facility -- the Tek Ridge Center -- that houses several technology-based start-up companies. The building is only about a half mile away from the potential site of that proposed energy plant. If it is built, you would be able to see the plant clearly from the front of the Tek Ridge Center.
Residents who oppose the power plant saw the governor's close proximity as an opportunity to bring their complaints to the state level.
A small group of Jessup residents heard through the grapevine that Governor Wolf would be in town, so they made their way to the Tek Ridge Center in the Jessup Small Business Park to wait for the motorcade.
The governor was whisked inside for the private tour of the center that houses start-up tech companies.
Out on the sidewalk, some Jessup residents hoped to talk to the governor about another company: Invenergy, that has a proposal to build a natural gas-fired power plant on land only a half mile from the Tek Ridge Center.
"I have already written to him. I would want to tell him my concerns as to why I don't want the plant here. I don't feel like 30 jobs really merits the harm that it's going to cause our beautiful little town that I've lived here for 64 years. I don't want it changed," said Jessup resident Rella Scassellati.
Governor Wolf stopped in Jessup on a tour about rebuilding the middle class and supporting job growth in Pennsylvania. He wasn't prepared for questions about the local power plant controversy.
"Frankly, I just learned about this as I was driving in, so I don't know enough about it. I am in support of good jobs, and, I just need to know more about this. I'm sorry to evade that question, but I just don't know enough to answer it intelligently," Wolf said.
The residents, who are part of an organization called "Citizens for a Healthy Jessup," did have an opportunity to educate the governor, and he agreed to meet again with the group in Harrisburg.
"Anything you could do would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Governor."
There is no word on when opponents of the Invenergy plant plan to head to Harrisburg.
We also leaned that tenants of the Tek Ridge Center have also voiced concerns about the proposed plant that would be so close to them. A business owner told us that Invenergy officials came there last week to answer to those concerns.
Late Friday night, Newswatch 16 received the following statement from Invernergy following the governor's visit to Jessup:
"No single initiative in the Mid Valley area would do more for job creation than building the Lackawanna Energy Center. The proposed clean natural gas plant represents a forward-looking vision of economic opportunity for the Borough of Jessup and the entire region. The $30 million in total tax revenue, 600 construction jobs and 30 permanent, well-paying jobs from this project would sustain families, strengthen the entire region, and help the state meet its clean energy goals."