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TIF loan needs Eldred Township on planning committee

Published September 13. 2012 05:02PM

Michelle Bisbing, director of marketing for Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, told the Eldred Township board of 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.

Bisbing explained that after the building takes place, the taxes will go up. Eldred would continue receiving the same amount of taxes it is receiving now. 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 was asking 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 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.

"There has been too much contention to move on this until the plan has been approved, if it does (get approved)," he said.

Supervisor Gretchen Gannon Pettit made a motion to table appointing a committee member at this time. It was approved 3-0.

In answer to resident Richard Zilmer's question, Bisbing said the amount of the loan will be somewhere between $10-15 million for the infrastructure, which would not include the cost of the buildings or the track.

Zilmer asked if there were any projections of what kind of tax revenue Alpine Rose would generate after completion.

Bisbing said it would be $90,000 in property taxes in Year 1, $1 million in Year 5. Projected tourism revenue for Year 1 is estimated to be $8 million and Year 5, $12 million.

In other township business, the township and Kay and Melvin Frable, owners of the building where Penny's Place is located, have reached a settlement agreement concerning its parking lot. The parking lot area was owned by the township and the township sold the property to the Frables with the agreement that the Eldred Township Historical Society (ETHS) has a conveyance right-of-way to its property of the old historic post office. A subdivision plan was approved, 3-0. The payment will go to the ETHS.

The board also approved, by a 3-0 vote:

• an extension request on the Vernon Frable subdivision until Nov. 10, 2012

• an extension request for the Ernest and Diana Laudenslager minor subdivision plan until Oct. 31, 2012

• to pay Eldred Township's share of PMRS's minimum municipal obligation for 2013, which is $4,480, due by Oct. 3

• to have an electronic recycling container at the township property for the month of October, as a trial, to see how it goes

Budget workshops will be held on Friday, Nov. 9 and Friday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.

Resident Phil Marano asked why there were now two center lines painted on all the township roads. Borger, who also serves as the roadmaster, said that the township could paint just one line, but the state can withhold liquid fuel money reimbursement if the roads don't have two painted center lines.

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