Moon board quits development authority

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Moon Area school board has ended its relationship with the Moon Transportation Authority, an agency created to broker the tax exemption and abatement programs for area improvement projects.

Among the projects the MTA has enabled over the last 27 years were the Thorn Run Road interchange and Cherrington Parkway project.

The board decided Monday night to withdraw from the MTA, despite calls for negotiations to salvage the partnership.

Created to promote infrastructure and economic development in Moon, the MTA has been involved with construction of three interchanges and several connecting roads along Business 376.

Solicitors from both the MTA and the municipality -- the third entity in the authority partnership -- appeared before the board seeking an agreement to keep the partnership alive.

They failed to persuade the board, and the matter may end in a court fight.

"We don't know when and where litigation may arise," MTA solicitor Dick Mills said after the vote. He said the move by the school board could put the MTA and township in a "financial bind."

The district will remain obligated to tax agreements currently in place or approved. Agreements reached by the MTA typically allowed for a 10-year tax abatement on buildings, while taxes were paid on land.

School director Jerry Testa said the district no longer can afford the abatements because of a downturn in state and federal financial support.

education - Transportation - neigh_west

Sonja Reis, freelance writer:


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