Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Farmland Preservation Board Recognizes Ron Angle

John Stoffa, Ron Angle and Board member Andy Thierry
Northampton County's Farmland Preservation Board, at their January 7 meeting, had two unusual guests. One of them, former Executive John Stoffa, has been out of office just one day. The other, former Council member Ron Angle, has been gone for two years. But the Board recognized and honored Angle for his commitment to farmland preservation.

Angle was cited specifically for the $2 million farmland deal he negotiated with developer Charles Chrin. In October 2011, Charles Chrin sought a TIF from Northampton County for a 689-acre business park he was proposing at the northern end of Palmer Township. A TIF is a special arrangement which allows a developer to use the increase in real estate taxes to fund more infrastructure. It requires the approval of the municipality, school board and county.

Chrin had a good argument. For one thing, he was willing to pay for the cost of an Interchange along Route 33 near Tatamy. Even more importantly, it is expected to produce 3,500 jobs. But it gobbles up 689 acre of farmland.

The TIF had already been approved by Palmer Township and the Easton School District. But the County had to sign off as well.

Maria Bentzoni
Angle negotiated a commitment from Chrin to set aside 1.5 per cent of the gross sales price of each lot as sold for farmland preservation, capped at $2 million. According to then Executive Stoffa, this money would be used to get matching grants from the state, and thus enable the County to preserve 650 acres of farmland.

"Nobody else could have done it," Stoffa told the Farmland Preservation Board.

"It's not easy dealing with Charlie Chrin," remarked Board member Bob Doerr.

"It's much harder dealing with me," wisecracked Angle.

A little more seriously, he said that public officials have to try to be more innovative in getting money from developers and others at a time when state funds are diminishing.

The Board meeting was attended by Farmland Preservation Administrators Maria Bentzoni and Barbara Martucci, along with Board members Andy Thierry, Todd Gulick, Terry Kromer and Bob Doerr.

They are an unheralded board that has now preserved 13,007.26 acres on 136 farms in Northampton County.

"We're going like gangbusters," noted Bentzoni, who told the Board she has just received 27 new applications.

During his eight years in office, Stoffa doubled the amount pf preserved farmland, although Northampton County still lags behind the 20,000 acres preserved in Lehigh County.Board member Todd Gulick told Stoffa, "Without you, we'd still be languishing."

"We're catching up," Bentzoni said.

Stoffa credited Bentzoni for all the work she and her small staff have done over the years.

"The only thing I'm not doing is knocking on doors," she joked.

She noted that between 2002 and 2007, the County was losing four square miles of farmland every year. But she believes that has slowed down.

"We have developers calling us, trying to offload their inventory," she remarked.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

They were doing just fine before Stoffa.

Will the guy ever get out of the limelight. He told the Express Times he wants to start a good government group. Then he photobombs a Ron Angle ceremony.

That is a good start for a good government group. John Stoffa and Ron Angle. Now we know why Hell is freezing over and on to our lawns.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tricia Mezzacappa, do us all a favor and just post your hate-filled rants somewhere else. Aside from me, this was an uncovered event. Believe it or not, some people actually care about things like farmland preservation. Angle and Stoffa are two of those people. Not everyone is in a world of hate like you .

Anonymous said...

Farmland preservation stared on 1991 in Northampton county long before either of these two clowns were involved.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And under Stoffa, the amount of farmland preserved doubled. Angle secured a commitment to preserve 650 acres. Some clowns. All you do is post anonymous hate-filled rants, Mezzacappa. You also mock Jerry Seyfried, who started the program.

Go away.

Anonymous said...

Actually it was an act of county council that started the actual farmland preservation program.

Bernie O'Hare said...

An Act that was proposed and pushed by the Seyfried admin. Try being honest for once.

Anonymous said...

Try looking into the actual history of specific farmland preservation funding. You are not entirely accurate on this one. Again, due to your mancrush haze.

There is an actual resolution in existence.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am aware of the resolution and who was behind it - Jerry Seyfried.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jerry preserved over 1,000 acres combined of farmlands and wild lands. In fact, Brackbill spent money that Seyfried had set aside for parks.

Gungadin said...

Bernie is that Stoffa's "O" face?

c said...

Kudos to Ron.

Anonymous said...

Haters gonna hate. Just ignore them like I do.
This was a good deal for our county......let us appreciate it when things go our way.
TM is out of her mind and everyone knows it now. No rock is big enough to hide her skinny butt and ruby red lips.
Thank you Ron and John for doing this as no one else could have. No one else even thought of it.
Bernie thank you for covering this.

Anonymous said...

Credit where credit is due is only fair play. They are both polarizing individuals but they also are very smart individuals. Job well done.

zoid said...

bernie, the guy on the right side of the photo looks like your brother!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Zoid, that's Andy Thierry, and now he'll sue me for libel.

Anonymous said...

This a Major Award. It and the human dooty negotiation explain his shit eating grin.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, it is a Major Award. That should have been my headline. he did try to sel some shit to Stoffa, but Stoffa is making his own.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Zoid at 10:28. When I first looked at that picture I thought Bernie was standing there.

Anonymous said...

What a pile of self-aggrandizing bullshit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Go away Tricia. Go complain to some wall about West Easton.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, aren't you supposed to be awarded the West Easton Whack Shack? When will the court put her out of our misery?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The damages hearing comes up soon. That is why she is trying not to sign herself. But she still is as hateful as ever. I have not checked the West Easton cases, but from what I have seen, she is in trouble.

Mandrake said...

Stoffa is about as photogenic as meconium.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, it's the photographer. I stink. John usually is a good picture. But I should have moved them away from the wall, or tried for a side shot with a close up of the faces. Photography is an art and I only rarely get a good pic. The advice I get is to take a lot in the hope that one turns out ok.

Anonymous said...

Bernie... Comedy lives in the wide shot which is fitting cause all 3 are a joke! Badum Cha!

Anonymous said...

The bullshit in this article and Bernie's comments rivals that on Angles fields.

Anonymous said...

4:31. You should be so lucky. Haters gonna hate. Let's measure your family and friends against any of theirs. What's that you have neither? Well maybe one or two.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:45, does that number include drug addicts?

Anonymous said...

Free Greggy