Northampton County Council committee discusses River Pointe regardless of having little oversight or authority

EASTON, Pa. – A Northampton County Council committee reviewed the River Pointe Logistics Park industrial proposal Thursday, although the county has virtually no oversight of the venture. 

Council’s financial growth committee heard from Higher Mount Bethel Township Supervisor Ed Nelson about River Pointe (RPL).

Earlier than Nelson spoke, some residents of the township and close by communities complained about Nelson addressing council. Township Supervisor David Friedman stated Nelson doesn’t communicate for the UMBT board. 

Decrease Mount Bethel Township Supervisor Sandra Newman stated RPL is a matter for your entire Slate Belt, the identify given to the northern tier of the county. 

“My neighborhood desires to maintain Martins Creek the best way it’s,” she stated, referring to a village in Decrease Mount Bethel.

Visitors from a big industrial park will change the agricultural character of the area endlessly, critics have stated. Nonetheless, the land is zoned for business and privately owned.  

Nelson stated River Pointe will cowl about 800 acres alongside the Delaware River in Higher Mount Bethel. He helps the venture, as does a majority of the UMBT Board of Supervisors.

Residents of the township and different close by cities have objected to the visitors the economic park will convey, and so they have stated at many public conferences that River Pointe will generate noise and air pollution, whereas spoiling views of the Delaware Water Hole. 

Northampton County has no authority over municipal planning or zoning, and committee Chairman Kevin Lott stated that whereas he, too, has reservations in regards to the venture, it’s not a county subject. 

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“As a lot as we need to be told about it, we do not have loads of energy to alter it,” Lott stated.

Municipalities management their very own zoning, and the Pennsylvania Division of Transportation oversees among the roads that could be affected by River Pointe. 

Nelson stated his township covers 44 sq. miles, and far of it’s designated as open house, preserved farmland or college property, paying decreased property taxes or none. That locations a burden on UMBT’s 6,500 residents, and the township wants income. 

Bethlehem-based developer Lou Pektor leads the RPL crew. His daughter Lisa spoke at Thursday’s assembly, promising jobs and tax income as River Pointe is developed.

She stated claims that solely warehouses will function there are false, and he or she stated RPL will straight create about 4,000 jobs. She additionally stated that the venture, as soon as absolutely developed, will generate $1.4 million or extra for the Bangor Space College District. 

Lisa Pektor stated there are not any agreements but for tenants, although she stated RPL has been in talks with a food-processing firm and a producer. Lou Pektor has stated earlier that the land, close to Interstate 80 and large markets within the New York space, is simply too useful to put aside for warehouses. 

“We get inquiries weekly from huge logistical firms that might convey loads of truck use,” Lisa Pektor stated Thursday. “We aren’t stepping into conversations with them presently.” 

She stated RPL’s objective is to usher in producers, thus bringing in additional funding, extra jobs and extra tax income. 

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One space the place the county would have enter could be the extension of the Native Financial Tax Revitalization Help (LERTA) program. LERTAs permit decreased taxes to be paid on enhancements on the land, with the tax break declining to zero over 10 years. 

Lisa Pektor stated a LERTA extension would assist RPL as a result of buildings usually are not going to go up instantly. The tax-abatement program and extensions require the approval of three taxing authorities: the municipality, the varsity district and the county.