Hamilton Crossings would be built on both sides of Krocks Road, between Hamilton Boulevard and Route 222. Officials have been waiting for PennDOT to weigh in on the project’s impact on Route 222.
Emmaus resident John Donches, who opposes the TIF, asked county commissioners about its status during their meeting Wednesday night.
“Everybody was under the impression all three had to say yea,” said Donches. “Now all of a sudden, this is the first time that anybody in public said that it didn’t have to be voted on by all three.”
Muller has said he intends to bring the TIF proposal back to county commissioners for reconsideration and another vote.
Commissioner Michael Schware said it was supposed to come back in February, then in March. He added: “I was expecting it at this meeting.”
Daniel McCarthy, the county’s new director of administration, told commissioners he does not know about the administration’s intentions regarding the TIF.
“If it comes before you again, I hope you stick with it and say no again,” Donches told commissioners.
Donches doesn’t think it’s right that the Hamilton Crossings developers keep saying they will pull out of the project if they don’t get the TIF.
He doesn’t understand why they keep spending hours working on their plans with Lower Macungie planners. “They’re moving ahead,” said Donches. “There is no way that they’re going to pull out of this.”
Dougherty agreed, saying: “There is no way the developer is going to go away. They’re not using blackmail. They’ve put so much into that project already.”
Donches said Muller recently told the East Penn School Board that “they’re working on a side deal.”
Commissioner Vic Mazziotti, who served on the Hamilton Crossings TIF committee, told Donches he has heard nothing about any side deal.
“I don’t know if any of the other commissioners are involved in those discussions,” said Mazziotti. “If they are, I’d love to hear it.”
“Nobody has discussed it with me either,” said Dougherty, who served on that TIF committee with Mazziotti.
Dougherty said the possibility of the TIF moving forward without all three municipal bodies opting in had been discussed during meetings of the TIF committee, which were not open to the public.
Dougherty said it was a ruling presented to the TIF committee by the lawyer representing the authority, presumably Lushis.
But Mazziotti said he did not recall that.
Mazziotti did recall that the three municipal bodies could have different percentages of property taxes from the shopping center diverted to the TIF – “the county percentage could be zero, for example, and the school district could have a different one.”
Lushis, says the LCIDA is in the process of reviewing and evaluating the entire situation with its TIF consultant. The Authority will decide its next move in a few weeks, he said.