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Penn Township, school board to discuss tax abatements

| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Penn Township commissioners and Penn-Trafford School Board members will hold a joint meeting next month about a proposal to give tax abatements for new business developments in the township.

The session will be on May 5 at 7 p.m. in the high school library before the school board's workshop meeting.

School board members already have said they would be willing to approve the establishment of a temporary tax-abatement zone under conditions of the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act, or LERTA.

Commissioners are considering an ordinance that would expand the township's abatement program to cover undeveloped areas in the Bushy Run Corporate Park and the intersection of Route 130 and Pleasant Valley Road.

If the plan moves forward, the school district, township and Westmoreland County would agree to waive a portion of the taxes on improvements to the properties over a designated amount of time. The property owners would continue to pay the existing tax burden. Gradually, they would pay taxes on the improvements as the percentage of the abatement decreases.

The most-recent draft of the LERTA would enable the taxing bodies to consider a 100-percent abatement for three years, 50-percent for the fourth year and 25-percent for the fifth year.

Blackthorne

The commissioners' decision on whether to allow a developer to postpone completion of the final nine golf holes at The Club at Blackthorne is on hold until May.

Investors in the golf club and Blackthorne Estates neighborhood want to alter their plan so that the course's would be finished in the sixth and final phase instead of the third phase.

The developer plans to meet with residents before the commissioners consider the request at one of their May meetings, Penn Township Manager Bruce Light said.

Geese control

A Pennsylvania Game Commission officer is expected to meet with the Penn Township Recreation Commission tonight to discuss the ongoing geese problem at Penn Township Municipal Park, Commissioner Paul Wersing said.

The rec board's meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room.

Township officials have been trying to find a way to reduce the number of geese at the park because of the amount of droppings in the grassy areas.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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