Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Controller: Angle's Chrin Deal Has Produced $203k For Farmland Preservation

Ron Angle (right) with prominent Easton
barrister Gary Asteak
Back in 2010, Charlie Chrin wanted a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for his 691-acre industrial park at the northern portion of Palmer Tp. That's a financing tool that would enable him to use the increase in property taxes to fund additional development. It must be approved by the local municipality, school district and county.

This TIF had already been approved by Palmer Tp and the Easton School Board. When it came to the county, the proposal had several powerful proponents. They included former State Rep Rich Grucela,  Easton Mayor Sal Panto and Dale Colver, Chair of  Palmer Tp's Board of Supervisors. It seemed like a slam dunk. But not to Ron Angle. He was bothered that the some of the best farm land in the county was going away. So he asked Council for permission to approach Chrin himself. They reluctantly agreed.

What Ron Angle knew, and the rest of council did not, is that Chrin considers himself at heart a farmer. He played on that, and got Chrin to agree to contribute 1.5% of the net sales price of all lots sold to the county until it had $2 million.

With that money, the county would be able to preserve nearly as much other farmland as it was giving up to Chrin.

So how much money has the county received?

Controller Steve Barron has just audited the 17 parcels involved. Three have been sold. Thus far, the County has received $204,000 from Chrin, and the money has been deposited in the Farmland Preservation Fund.

Fiscal Director Jim Hunter has agreed to keep annual tabs on these payments.

Ron Angle is no longer in office, but his deal has fattened county coffers bu $204,000.  

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have run this story again? We realize you are helping to run his campaign but this is silly. Everyone knows this deal would have happened anyway. Given the gamesmanship between Angle and Stoffa, this did make Angle look like some kind of wheeler dealer. Yet we know the real story.

Anonymous said...

Farmland is an environmental abomination in a land where taxpayers subsidize price supports because we overproduce. Nobody should be proud of preserving areas that were once forests, before being clear cut. Land should only be preserved if it is to be returned to its original condition - woods.

Anonymous said...

That's nice that it reaped the County money. However, that money was lost to lawsuits since Brown took over.

Anonymous said...

That's great and all, but it just means that now Brown doesn't have to put as much County money into farmland preservation. He's even said that he can reduce funding into farmland preservation because the account is funded and that all farms in the queue are able to be preserved. It's not like additional farms are now being preserved as a result of the Chrin/Angle deal, that would not otherwise have been preserved. The same number of farms would be preserved regardless, it's just that now Chrin money is helping to pay for it. So those farms were still destroyed by Chrin, and no new farms are being preserved that wouldn't have been preserved anyway. So there's still a net reduction in farmland (and increase in traffic). So all Angle did was help bring money into the County, not preserve farmland.

Anonymous said...

Meh, no news is good news, I guess?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You have run this story again? We realize you are helping to run his campaign but this is silly"

This is called news. Tim Herrlinger did report to council on this topic, but his report was less certain and he sid he was waiting for Steve Barron's audit. The Controller has completed his audit and these are his findings. Angle's deal with Chrin has produced $204,000 for farmland preservation. My guess is that it will produced $2 million.

This is what Ron does. He saves money.

Anonymous said...

6:34 - By that reasoning you should then tear down your house, compost it, plant some trees then add yourself to the pile. Human existence is not an environmental impact? So we should also consider: Golf courses, burial grounds, parks, highways, industrial parks, shopping malls, Dorney Park, landfills, sewage/water treatment plants, etc., etc.
Welcome to the stone age my friend. I hear the hunter gather lifestyle is all the rage.

Anonymous said...

Is eschewing price supports to prop up prices for overproduced crops returning to the stone age? Wow. 10:39 is a victim of Stockholm Syndrome under the big cardboard check leviathan and likely can't wipe his or her ass without a government program of some sort. No wonder we're so helpless with these types running around with their hands out.

Anonymous said...

How much did the county forgo in tax revenue for the TIF? Subtract that amount and you will probably find that the township, county, and school district lost money on this "deal."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Of course the county lost money. That's what happens in a subsidy Angle got $2 million back. You can hate him, but that's the reality.

Anonymous said...

11:12 - What prop up? most subsidies in PA are in the form of crop insurance not propping up prices for overproduced crops. Plus you evaded my point. You think that mother earth should be returned to its natural state - woods. Don't put it out there if you cannot defend it or are not willing to clarify.
And yes this is from a farm boy who can do a hell of a lot more than wipe his own ass. I worked my way through college and qualified for government assistance. I refused to take it because of something called pride. My guess is that you never went hungry a day in your life or worked in a profession where your paycheck was at the mercy of the weather. Talk to someone who lived through the Depression and I would guess they are damn happy that we can overproduce food. You want to live in a fantasy which is easy. Try living in reality with that mindset.

JORGE said...

Hmm... and who owns a large share of farmland in the northern parts of Northampton County???

Anonymous said...

That would be the easy assumption in this situation. Ron does not have one acre in preservation and nor will he ever. That would be a stupid financial decision on Ron's part. If he farmed and was looking to pass the farms along to his children that is a different story. If the price per acre was closer to actual development value maybe and that is a long shot. People that preserve their ground do it for one of two reasons. 1. They are committed to agriculture and want to be sure they can pass the farm to the next generation. 2. They own a farm and made their money elsewhere. This is a way to leverage the property they have no intention of developing. An argument can be made that people want to preserve the open space but that is not was farmland preservation is. The ground must be actively farmed to remain in the program.
Assumptions can sometimes make you look foolish.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jorge is looking for reasons to slur Ron. Ron has no land in farmland preservation. But he, like Chrin, does consider himself a farmer. He is very proud that the Farm Bureau recently asked him to serve on their board. The LVPC goal is to preserve 25% of the county's farms. But Ron would never give up his development rights.

JORGE said...

I sit Corrected. Sorry Bernie, But I still don't trust Mr. Angel.

Anonymous said...

Angle's insider deal was ok but the prime farmland is the farmland Chrin destroys. The crap farmland is being saved. As to money saved it is not 2million it is 200thousand. Also Angle wasted that much when he and Stoffa took the save Gracedale folks to court.

You can prop him up all you want but people know him too well.

Bernie O'Hare said...

When all is said and done it will be $2 million. And the litigation over Gracedale cost taxpayers nothing.

Anonymous said...

Farmers used to be cool. Now, they're just part of the coveting class. William Penn said to leave one acre in five as woodland. We're well under his wish. Let farmland be sold. Let the farmers cash in. Most of them do before preserving what's left. This program is a scam of a gravy train. And I like Ron by the way. I just disagree with him on this issue. Is that allowed on this blog? Or should I return to my corner and wait for the bell for next round?

Anonymous said...

How about this instead. Go out and talk to an active farmer (farms is own land) who has preserved his farm. See if he/she thinks its a gravy train. You will be hard pressed to tell the difference between the one who preserved and the one who didn't. We cannot return to the past this is now. If you have proof to the contrary please by all means let's hear it.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa/Angle took them to court after they won the referendum. The county lawyers do get paid. Stop twisting the facts for your pals.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The county lawyers get paid but would get paid the same amount regardless. The county spent nothing.