‘Distressed’ Hawley designation makes Cozza ‘walk’
“I can’t circumvent the law. You are speaking in generalities,” Bernathy retorted. “Show me a town declared distressed and we can compare.” LERTA, according to Bernathy, lays out very specific and fundamental principles that a borough must meet in an extensive document before becoming eligible for tax abatements and other such exemptions.
Justin Genzlinger pressed on, insinuating that Bernathy did not fully understand LERTA.
“I have been an attorney for municipalities for 17 years. I think I know my job,” Bernathy said, adding that he is more than aware of the ins and outs of LERTA.
Sanders asked, “If you were not in this predicament over taxes, would we be here now?”
Hawley Borough Council President Don Kyzer, also sitting in, suggested that the Hawley Silk Mill is highly attractive to prospective business owners and has, in fact, deterred businesses from locating in the downtown area.
Both Genzlingers took exception to this statement, and that’s when Cozza left the meeting. The hour-long debate was then ended by Sanders.
At the January 9 Hawley Borough Council meeting, the planning commission said they would defer to more experts and at least one member of the school board.