Board approves tax relief for West Pharma; listening to residents’ concerns | News, Sports, Jobs

Jersey Shore City Council this week signed a tax relief agreement for a business seeking to expand its operations in the community, but not before several residents complained about traffic and problems, they say, the business is created in the neighborhood.

Under LERTA, or Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, West Pharmaceutical Services will be exempt from paying taxes in full for the first two years of the agreement and from abatements for the next five years.

The Council agreed in June to announce its intention to adopt the agreement this month.

West plans to add 125 jobs through the expansion project in the 300 block of Oliver Street.

Richard Thompson, 316 Oliver Street, told council he did not want to prevent West from expanding, but was concerned about truck traffic and wanted to maintain the residential character of the community.

Richard Andrus, 326 Oliver St., said there was a lot of speeding in the neighborhood.

“Someone is going to get killed” he said.

He also said West employees were taking up parking spaces along Oliver Street and dumping trash.

“We shouldn’t lose our parking spaces. I don’t need litter on my property,” he said.

Andrus said he complained to company officials and was assured that these problems would stop.

Another borough resident said she too was concerned about parking.

“We are not against employment” she says.

After listening to the complaints, Williamsport/Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce President Jason Fink said: “From the House side, it’s disconcerting to hear.”

Council Chairman Sean Simcox assured residents they would raise the issues with officials in the west.

In other areas, the council approved a $25,000 Bill 13 mini-grant agreement with Lycoming County.

Funding is targeted for the playground project at the community park.

John Shireman, 220 Mount Pleasant Avenue, asked council about French drain work being done near his property.

He asked why a permit had not been issued for one of the two works in progress.

Borough Superintendent Cody Hoover said only one of the works was underway.

“There is no digging on a property,” said Hoover.

Council passed resolutions acknowledging and thanking James Douty and Michael Portanova for their years of work with the borough.

Douty worked as a code enforcement officer and Portanova as a highway foreman.

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