Upper Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors Holds Second Public Hearing on the Proposed Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) at River Pointe Logistics Park | Financial Buzz

Upper Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors Holds Second Public Hearing on the Proposed Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) at River Pointe Logistics Park

On November 12, the Upper Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors held the second public hearing to review an ordinance that creates a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) for the River Pointe Logistics Park project. River Pointe Logistics Park is a strategically situated, new industrial development that aims to attract world-class manufacturers to the region and create an estimated 4,000+ new jobs in manufacturing.

Without the creation of the NID, the Township would have to provide services to support River Pointe Logistics Park and its surrounding service areas, resulting in a potential raise in taxes for Township residents. To offset these costs, the Board of Supervisors asked the developer to find a solution. The answer was to petition the township to create a NID that primarily consists of the industrial park.

The Neighborhood Improvement District Act (Act 130) permits a property owner or a collective of property owners to petition the municipality to form a NID in commercial districts, residential neighborhoods, industrial districts, and/or mixed-use districts. The River Pointe Logistics Park NID will provide a long-term funding source for vital township equipment, fire life safety services, and road maintenance at no cost to the community.

The developer agreed to three separate assessments to be used in accordance with a cooperative agreement between the NID management association (NIDMA) and the Township. The three fees are structured to ensure the NID funds are available well in advance of occupancy so the Township can make sound decisions on the most applicable equipment purchases needed for when the building begins operating. The fees collected by the Township include:

  • Developer Plan Assessment of $0.50 per square foot due at the recording of an approved plan (up to $3 million).
  • Special Construction Assessment of $0.75 per square foot at the issuance of a building permit.
  • Annual Assessment of $0.15 per square foot collected on April 1 on for-profit developed property within the NID.

The NID budget provides $2.5 million for emergency equipment purchases as requested by the fire departments and $150,000 annually for training and basic equipment to enhance the Township’s ability to provide fire life safety measures for the logistics park in addition to all its residents. Of the $3 million of Developer Plan Assessment fees, $1 million will be committed towards funding an environmental education center at the Eastern Industries site owned by the Township.

The proposed NID also allocates a yearly $100,000 for the Upper Mount Bethel Township Park, nearly doubling its annual budget. The Township Park is included in the NID so it can receive funding for improvements and additional programs. As a not-for-profit entity, the Township Park is exempted from ever paying any NID fees. River Pointe Logistics Park also includes a new publicly accessible, 5-mile walking trail around the industrial park.

“The Township Park is still owned and operated by the Township, but the NID means we can rest assured we’ll have the funds to add facilities and attractions and to maintain those improvements,” says Upper Mount Bethel Township’s Chairperson of Parks & Recreation Stavros Barbounis.

President of River Pointe Logistics Park, Lou Pektor, says, “The primary purpose of the NID is to create a method and structure for the Township to have a dedicated funding source necessary to provide a safe environment and increase the services the Township currently is able to offer to its residents. All of which is necessary for the proposed development to further enhance the Township and provide quality jobs for the community while further increasing the tax base for the Township.”

The NID budget allocates $750,000 to fund new road maintenance equipment and $95,000 annually to offset the cost of maintaining the improved Marshfield Drive as well as improvements to River Road and surrounding road systems. Historically, the Township has spent about $350,000 per year on roads and bridges and $125,000 per year on road maintenance equipment to maintain some 110 miles of road.

“The Township will use these additional resources and assets provided by the NID to protect our community through better fire and emergency preparedness,” says Upper Mount Bethel Township Manager Ed Nelson. “The NID will also greatly enhance our parks and recreation opportunities.”

The term, or “sunset,” of the NID is 11 years, with automatic extensions built-in in the event the industrial park’s development takes longer than projected. Prior to the termination of the NID, for-profit property owners within the NID and the Township can evaluate the need for additional services and funding if necessary and can extend the term of the NID beyond the sunset date.

To ensure the NID cannot be expanded to tax other property owners, the final NID plan includes a restriction that would require 100% consent of the affected property owners to ever expand the NID. This was done in response to a misconception that the NID could take resident homes by eminent domain. The NID does not have eminent domain powers.

About River Pointe Logistics Park

Located within a one-day drive of one-third of all U.S. consumers, River Pointe Logistics Park is a proposed industrial development that will attract world-class manufacturers to Upper Mount Bethel Township, Pennsylvania. Ideally located within 1.5 miles of Rt. 80, and offering drivable access to the ports of New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, River Pointe Logistics will generate an estimated 4,000+ good-paying jobs in manufacturing while generating much-needed tax revenue for the town and schools by increasing real estate tax revenue and earned income tax. For more information, visit https://abettermtbethel.com/.

Contacts

Media

Britni Ackrivo

484-504-9920

backrivo@gregoryfca.com

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