Council voted 4-3 to move forward with its third option for working with #1 Cochran's plan, which includes completing a land swap with the automotive company and implementing a TIF district in the borough.
Councilmen John Maggio and Eugene Barilla, and councilwoman Laurie Malka voted "no" to moving forward with that option, citing concerns over parking issues that could arise or be made worse while construction at the Cochran Nissan site is in progress.
Borough solicitor John Rushford said council's vote is simply a vote to move forward—not a vote on a final plan.
The next step is for the borough and #1 Cochran to form a letter of intent—a legal agreement—outlining the details of how to follow through with the project.
"(The agreement) creates a framework from which a lot of other activity will be taking place between the borough and Cochran," Rushford said. "It needs to be put into legally binding language."
The agreement will be available for public review before a final vote is made, and changes to the agreement can be made as needed.
The plan proposed by #1 Cochran, as well as the three options the borough formed for working with the automotive company, are outlined in this article, published in August.
After the meeting, council President Bill McCartney said the borough plans to do a comprehensive parking study, which will include surveying business owners for their parking needs. Those needs will be included in discussions with #1 Cochran, he said.
If the third option is carried out, the TIF district could generate $100,000 or more per year for the borough. TIF funds could be used to make improvements to both sides of West Liberty Avenue. New parking lots also would be created.