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Objections raised for a TIF loan for Alpine Rose

Published October 10. 2012 05:03PM

About 20 people attended the Eldred Township supervisors' meeting to voice their opposition to their tax dollars being used to fund a TIF loan for the initial building stages of the proposed Alpine Motorsports resort.

This reaction was in response to last month's meeting where Michelle Bisbing, director of marketing for Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, told supervisors that Alpine Rose wants to borrow money from her company to build a proposed motor sport track to be located on the Blue Mountain in Smith Gap, if the final plan is approved by the township. It would be a Tax Increment Funding (TIF) loan.

TIF is a public financing method that is used for subsidizing redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects.

The amount of the loan would be somewhere between $10-15 million for the infrastructure, which would not include the cost of the buildings or the track.

Bisbing explained Eldred would continue receiving the same amount of taxes it is receiving now. After the building takes place, the taxes will go up. The difference would go to the TIF account toward paying off the loan. But, the township, school district and the county (all taxing bodies) must agree to it.

In addition, all taxing bodies would have to agree to a TIF planning committee, and each taxing body would have to have someone on the committee. She asked the township to name someone to that committee.

"We're at the beginning stages. We're approaching the township first," said Bisbing. "We're going to the school district next to ask for a member for the committee."

Michael Kaspszyk, the township's solicitor, said at last month's meeting that the Alpine Rose plan has not received final approval yet.

Bisbing replied that it was not a requirement to move forward with a committee.

Supervisor Chairman Clair Borger said he was reluctant to move forward with a committee until there's a final plan approval and the matter was tabled.

Supervisor/secretary Sharon Solt was appointed to be on the committee to gather info to bring back to the other township supervisors at the Oct. 3 meeting. She said she would make no decision on the part of the TIF.

"Everything will be voted on at the table with all three board members present," she said.

In other township business the board voted:

• to begin an electronic recycling program in the township starting Tuesday, Oct. 9. Residents will be able to bring their unwanted electronic equipment to the township garage between the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at no charge. Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority will be the collector.

• to approve the extension for subdivision of Gower Estates LLC until Jan. 16, 2013

• to approve the extension for the Ernest III and Diana A. Laudenslager minor subdivision plan until Dec. 31, 2012

• tabled recommendation for conditional approval of subdivision of Herman Borger estate

Helen Mackes reported that the cost of tearing down the mercantile building att

ached to the historic post office would be $43,000 and $6,000 for testing to find out what to do to take asbestos out, and once the mercantile building is removed, it will cost $20,000 to close in the hole. The Eldred Township Historical Society is probably $25,000 short to accomplish all that.

The municipal office will be closed Monday, Oct. 8 for Columbus Day.

Trick or Treat night will be on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 5-8 p.m.

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