County executive calls Hamilton Crossings meeting

Thomas Muller, developers, still want TIF for project

Author: , follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published: Jan 27 2014 12:11:55 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 05:27:58 PM EST
Proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping center

Proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping center


Lehigh County Executive Thomas Muller,  an outspoken supporter of tax increment financing for the delayed Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lower Macungie Township, has called a public meeting to re-introduce the project and its developers' request for a TIF.

Last June, Lehigh County commissioners voted 6-3 against a tax increment financing plan for the $140-million shopping center, which many assumed would kill the project.

All the county commissioners will be invited to the public meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 3 at Moyer Hall on the Muhlenberg College campus, 2400 Chew Street in Allentown.

The meeting amounts to a public relations offensive by the county executive and the developers to try to get at least a few county commissioners to change their votes.

"The public will have the opportunity to meet the developers, who will present their vision for the Hamilton Crossings retail center," explained Muller in a news release.  "The public will have an opportunity to give input and ask questions."

The Hamilton Crossings center, proposed for land on either side of Krocks Road in Lower Macungie, would contain the Lehigh Valley's first Costco, plus a Target and Whole Foods store.

The developers for the upscale project have been stalled by the county commissioners’ refusal to approve a TIF.

Despite the delay, developers have gone forward with negotiations with proposed tenants.

At least three of the Lower Macungie commissioners support the project, although the township has not yet voted on a TIF.

If Lehigh County commissioners reconsider and approve a TIF for the project, Lower Macungie commissioners will be the last to formally vote on that TIF.

The financing plan needed the support of the county, township and East Penn School District to succeed.

East Penn School Board voted 6-2 for the TIF last May.

If a TIF is approved for Hamilton Crossings, the county, township and school district will give up 50 percent of increased property taxes generated by the shopping center for 20 years.

According to co-lead developer Jeremy Fogel: "We continue to need TIF funding to close the project’s financial gap and allow the project to be financed. We have continued working to address concerns posed by county commissioners, in regards to obtaining their support and participation in the TIF plan."


Legal issues to keep Peterson off the field

Running back indicted on felony child abuse charges

Author: By Ed Payne CNN
Published: Sep 17 2014 02:16:41 AM EDT   Updated:  2 HR. AGO
Adrian Peterson

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

(CNN) -

Running back Adrian Peterson will not play for the Minnesota Vikings until his legal issues are resolved, the team said early Wednesday.

It's a reversal of course for the Vikings. The team had earlier said that Peterson, who is facing a child abuse charge, would practice this week and could play in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

In a statement early Wednesday, the team said Peterson has been placed on the NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, which will require him to "remain away from all team activities."

"While we were trying to make a balanced decision (Monday), after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," said a statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right."

Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL -- if not the best. His absence was probably felt during the Vikings' 30-7 loss to the Patriots last Sunday.

In 2011, he agreed to a lucrative contract, which NFL.com reported would be worth $100 million over a 7-year period.

Turn for the worse

But his fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since his indictment last week on a felony charge of causing bodily injury to his son.

On Tuesday, he lost one of his most significant endorsement deals when Castrol, a major producer of motor oil, pulled out.

Castrol used Peterson in commercials for its Edge performance oil product and on social media. Many recent social media posts of his likeness had been pulled down, and the commercials were no longer available on YouTube. (His other major sponsor, Nike, said late last week it would stand by its athlete for the time being.)

One of the team's sponsors, the Radisson hotel chain, announced Monday night that it was suspending its "limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

Also, the website for his All Day Foundation was taken off line after the charities represented on the site were getting "harassing" calls from gossip sites, his philanthropic adviser, Bruce Richmond, said.

"We took the website off line because the charities that Adrian supports were getting calls from the media and were getting harassed by the media," Richmond told CNN. "I spoke to one communication director saying she had received about a dozen calls today from the same gossip site."

Legal process

Following his indictment, Peterson turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday and was released on a $15,000 bond.

The next step is a preliminary court hearing on October 8.

According to Texas law, people can be convicted of injury to a child if they cause bodily or mental injury "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence" or cause such harm by omission. The crime is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $1,000 fine.

Authorities haven't divulged the details of what led to the charge. But Peterson's lawyer said the "charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son" -- explaining that his client did so while doling out discipline "much like "he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas."

Rusty Hardin said "Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

Peterson defended himself on Monday, saying he is "not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."

Other allegations

The developments came as CNN affilaite KHOU reported this week that Peterson allegedly abused another one of his children -- a 4-year-old son.

Sources told KHOU that the mother of the child filed a complaint with Child Protective Services in Texas because she alleged that Peterson beat the child, while visiting his father at his Houston-area home.

According to the report, text messages between Peterson and the boy's mother show that Peterson admitted disciplining the child, but he claims the child hit his head on the car seat in the process.

No charges were ever filed, according to KHOU.


On this Day

  • Civil War, Battle of Antietam painting

    Library of Congress

    On this day: September 17

    The U.S. Constitution is signed, the Civil War sees the bloodiest battle in American history, the prototype space shuttle Enterprise is unveiled, and the Camp David Accords bring peace between Egypt and Israel, all on this day.

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