Officials are hoping the creation of a commercial rehabilitation act in Hartland Township and the tax breaks it would offer will bring a major movie theater chain to the area.

The Board of Trustees discussed the details of a how a proposed Emagine Theater would impact the area at their meeting Tuesday night. The theater chain had originally asked for a 10-year tax abatement, but the township found by crunching numbers that a 7-year break would be enough to fit both sides needs. Hartland Township Supervisor Bill Fountain explained that there will still be taxes coming in from the development. The abatement would be only on the building. The personal property and the land under it would still be taxed by the township. The board estimates that the abatement would save Emagine around $500,000 over the 7 years.

Many board members expressed an opinion that this kind of development was a benefit to the community and could ignite excitement into the area. The theater, which would be located next to Meijer, could bring in up to 500,000 people per year, by estimate, and in doing so help support nearby businesses, especially restaurants. Board members, during their discussion recognized needs like informing the community on why the tax break would be a good thing, and making sure an incident like Wal-Mart coming in and then leaving quickly doesn’t happen again.

Trustee Matt Germane said he was for the theater, but had heard concerns from residents that the business should be able to make it on its own and without breaks. Trustee Joe Colaianne offered that government has historically gotten involved in enterprises that benefit the community, and that these abatements are here for when the right business comes along. A public hearing has been set for next Tuesday, May 23rd, at 7pm for the board to gather residents input before deciding whether or not to continue along the process. (MK)