Tyrone plans to keep road private

TYRONE – Would road repair costs offset the benefits of a company adding jobs and paying borough taxes?

That’s the thought of Borough Council members, who told Bill Dixon Sr. last week that they have no interest in taking over a road leading onto his company’s property.

Dixon, owner of Dixon Tool & Die Co. Inc., came before the borough to turn over a road he built when he subdivided his property.

All of his developer’s agreements stipulate the roads would remain private, Dixon said, but now there is a need for this road to be made public.

The reason, he said, is that JMD Co. is looking to relocate from Snyder Township to Tyrone Borough. Dixon said he offered to give JMD the road, but it wants to see the road made public and for the borough to take care of it.

Council Vice President Christy Ray told Dixon she disagreed, and that while he may have a business need for a public road, “We [the borough] don’t have a need to own it.”

Ray said the road

wouldn’t truly be public and wouldn’t generate enough money to pay for its maintenance.

Dixon said JMD Co. currently leases property from him in Tyrone Industrial Park, but it is working on a purchase agreement, which would mean it would be paying tax money to the borough that formerly went to Snyder Township.

JMD also is interested in the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act, he said, which provides for a five-year tax abatement to companies looking to make improvements to underdeveloped property.

JMD has seven employees now and could add five in the future, he said.

As a third point, Dixon said the borough also would be eligible to receive liquid fuel tax money, which is a municipality’s share of the motor license fund that pays for public road maintenance.

Dixon said he can’t earn liquid fuel tax money, but Tyrone can.

He called the road a gift. “A gift of a $100,000 road … plus the company coming to Tyrone with seven employees, and five in the future,” he said.

But according to council members, his gift may be more of a burden.

Borough Mayor William Fink said interim Borough Manager Phyllis Garhart calculated the borough would receive only $220 annually in liquid fuel tax money from taking over the road.

And the road “would cost a bit of money to maintain,” Fink said. “They [council] simply are not interested in acquiring this piece of real estate.”

Dixon said he doesn’t understand the decision; between school and borough taxes, he said he pays $12,000 annually, and can’t see how road repair would offset that revenue, especially since so much money was spent initially to make the road a good one and not a simple, gravel road.

Ray told him she couldn’t take him at his word that the borough would suddenly be “making all this money” and have more jobs when it came to dealing with public money.

“I can hardly believe you,” Dixon replied.

Fink said as of now, council plans to hold Dixon to his developer’s agreement.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.