According to an article by Jarrett Renshaw in today's Morning Call, the long term (more than ten years) operator of the restaurant at the golf course has been out maneuvered by Mayor Pawlowski. Although his bid was identical to the successful bidder, the winner provided better answers to a questionnaire; so much for the concept of respecting an existing tenant and his track record. The new tenant, Allentown Brew Works, also has a track record with the city and taxpayers. Jarrett Renshaw writes, "The awarding of the Brew Works contract continues a long line of public support to the Allentown Brew Works, which has enjoyed more than $4.5 million in local, state and federal loans and grants to renovation and construction. The public support includes more than $90,000 in direct taxpayers support from the city of Allentown for design and facade improvements. In addition, the Allentown restaurant sits in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which means it's exempt from most state and local taxes until 2011."
The decision was not officially made by Pawlowski, but by his five-person committee of city officials. Rumor of this shenanigan has been circulating town for several weeks.
reprinted from December 24, 2008
Since I wrote about the golf course in 2008, grants to the BrewWorks continue. We have reached over $7million dollars.*In 2009, City Council continued the KOZ tax free zone by deciding that the upper floors never benefited, and somehow it became a separate location, resetting the clock for ten more years. Anybody concerned that the BrewWork may have received preferential treatment can be reassured by our city government. On Wednesday evening, in regard to a new money for the upper floors, Councilman Julio Guridy said,* "We need to make sure people in the community know how to get that money," City Business Development Manager Ted Collins said*the city is trying to improve its outreach, but that its resources are limited. "It's my aim and interest to continue to grow this. I am six months into this position and I have already identified, along with you, that our outreach needs to improve," he said.
I'm reassured, are you?