New business could be headed for Richland Township

Published: Oct 14 2013 10:33:45 PM EDT
RICHLAND TWP., Pa. -

United States Cold Strorage is one step closer to receiving tax breaks to open a distribution center in Richland Township.

Township supervisors voted 3-0 during Monday night's meeting to designate the 40 acres of land between Heller and East Pumping Station roads as a deteriorated area, which has now made the property eligible for Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) designation. That designation would need to be approved by the three taxing bodies - the Quakertown Area School District, Bucks County and the township.

The LERTA was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature under the auspice of providing incentives to economic development. The LERTA would forgive 100 percent of the taxes on the improvements to the property in the first year, reducing the abatement by 10 percent each year until the 10th year when the company would pay 100 percent of their taxes due to the community.

Township Manager Stephen Sechreist would not speculate Monday night on what position the county or school board would adopt on the matter.

In other business during a public comment session, three township residents complained about road and signage issues related to East Cherry Road. Thomas Snicker, a resident on East Cherry Road, that the placement of signs on Route 309 was partially to blame for increased truck traffic on the road, which he said is not a road that is designed to handle that type of traffic.

Statistics by Police Chief Richard Ficco would tend to back up Snicker's allegations. Since 2005 a total of 73 crashes have occurred on the "tight and winding road" with nine crashes this year alone. Three of those nine crashes involved a truck, he sadi.

In addition to questioning the placement of signage on Route 309 about East Cherry Road, there is another problem.

"The biggest problem is the GPS," Ficco said.

Chairman Timothy Arnold told concerned residents that they will look into their complaints. Supervisors voted 3-0 to have a township engineer study the situation and report that information to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. They also plan to research GPS companies in an effort to contact them to change the directional information disseminated to motorists.