By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Hermitage commissioners on Thursday approved a tax incremental financing plan 4-1 for a retail development that would be anchored by a Kohl’s department store.
Mercer County commissioners and Hermitage School Board also must approve the plan for it to go through.
Levey and Co. of Akron, Ohio, proposed the plan, in which 69 percent of new property taxes would be diverted to pay for part of the $17 million development at the Shenango Valley Freeway and South Hermitage Road for 20 years.
City commissioners voted following a presentation by City Manager Gary P. Hinkson, Assistant City Manager Gary M. Gulla, Director of Planning and Development Marcia A. Hirschmann and Assistant Director of Planning and Development Jeremy P. Coxe in which they recommended approval.
Commissioner Chairman William J. Moder III said the board had to weigh whether another developer might come along and develop the property without a TIF, when several past developers have pulled plans because of problems caused by the site.
“I cannot agree we should do nothing and take a wait and see attitude,” Moder said.
Commissioner Rhonda L. Paglia, who cast the no vote, said she did not like the 20-year term or that the project is not expected to generate new housing in town.
She also called Levey a “very, very wealthy company” with properties al over the U.S. and internationally.
“I really feel they could have done better by the city,” Paglia said.