August 17, 2018 10:45 AM, EDT

Pennsylvania Borough Could Be New Home for $7.5 Million, 80-Bay Trucking Facility

R+L Carriers truckJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

JERMYN, Pa. ­— The borough could be the new home of a $7.5 million, 80-bay trucking facility.

Council Vice President Dan Markey announced during the council meeting Aug. 16 that the borough has been approached by Wilmington, Ohio-based R+L Carriers about building the facility on about 60 acres on Bonnie Drive, across from Rapid Pallet. R+L describes itself as a “global transportation company” on its website.

R+L ranks No. 22 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of for-hire carriers in North America.

Because the land is properly zoned, no rezoning or variance would be required, Markey said.

R+L Carriers logo

The carrier recently spoke to the Lakeland School Board about its plans, including the possibility of a 10-year Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance term that would grant a 90% tax exemption for improvements to the property in the first year. The tax abatement would decrease at 5% increments each subsequent year, Markey said. After the 10th year, R+L would pay full taxes on improvements to the property.

The councilman is excited at the potential of bringing 100 or more jobs to the borough.

Council President Frank Kulick and Mayor Anthony Fuga also expressed enthusiasm for the possibility of the facility coming to the borough.

Fuga said he is “100% for it,” noting the impact the facility would have on small businesses by drawing more people into Jermyn.

“I think it’s an excellent thing to happen to this town,” he said after the meeting. “It’s long overdue.”

Council’s next step will be to hold a public hearing to establish that the property is deteriorated and eligible for LERTA. Then the borough council, the Lakeland board and Lackawanna County must all agree to the terms.

The public hearing could take place at Jermyn’s next council meeting Sept. 20, Markey said.

Markey’s announcement came after a public hearing for 15 properties that the borough’s code enforcement officer cited. The citations were the borough’s second wave of citations this year to combat blight. The first wave of citations targeted the worst offenders in the borough.

Solicitor and Code Enforcement Officer William Aquilino said the borough targeted properties that had garnered complaints and posed a risk for firefighters and police officers.

“Anything where the building is structurally unsound, that’s a big concern,” he said.

So far, the borough’s efforts to clean up Jermyn have had a positive impact, Aquilino said after the meeting. Residents have taken the initiative in cleaning up their properties, and the borough has yet to issue a single fine after issuing at least 30 citations, he said.

Markey agreed, explaining that he has already seen a reduction of blight and expects to see more in the future.

“It’s finally starting to work,” he said.

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