Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Whitehall Township Wants A CRIZ

After seeing the big slice of pie Allentown got with it's NIZ Whitehall Township now wants their share of the pie via CRIZ.

Despite Whitehall's application being rejected in January it didn't deter commissioners from not trying again. The Morning Call is reporting Whitehall is closer to Community Revitalization Improvement Zone. WFMZ-TV is also now reporting "Whitehall Township commissioners forwarded a resolution Monday night to create the Whitehall Township Economic Development Authority.".

I don't think this is the best use for what CRIZ was created for. In my opinion there's seems to be plenty of areas far worse off and could use these funds much more then Whitehall Township.

Starting in the 60's Allentown began to see a decline on Hamilton Street. By the 80's nearly every business on Hamilton was only a remnant of what it once was. This because nearly every shopper headed out of town to the 'Golden Strip' on McArthur Road to shop. Even Hess's downtown store fell victim until there was not a department store left in Allentown.

This while Whitehall gained Macys, JC Penny and Wanamakers. And that was only the beginning.

McArthur Road once was a two lane rural highway. Eventually it became jam packed until it was widened to 6 lanes as you see it today. Even this at times can't handle all the traffic. So as Whitehall Township eventually left Allentown's Hamilton street nearly bare it rolled in the dough. The Lehigh Valley Mall has expanded to nearly double the number of stores it had when it first started out. Several more malls and dozens of other strip malls bloomed and are still growing there till this day.

As Allentown languished with conversion rentals a half a dozen new apartment complexes sprung up in the township over the following years plus numerous housing developments.

So pardon me if I'm a bit sour on the idea. With over the last 40 or 50 years of Whitehall's phenomenal growth why should they receive taxpayers' stimulus money over other areas that have not been as fortunate. Places like Reading, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton or other areas in the coal regions up North or to the other Western areas of Pennsylvania.

It seems to me Whitehall Township should have one hellva' tax base to work from. If not.. why not?

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