The Hartland Township Board of Trustees is getting ready to defend their decision that would help a large cinema chain move into the area.

The board met with Livingston County Commissioner Dave Domas during an information and discussion workshop following their regular meeting Tuesday night. Last month the decision was made by the board to offer a 7-year tax abatement worth approximately $65,000 per year to Emagine Theater that would more easily allow them to build a complex on 7-acres off of M-59 near Meijer. Emagine would still pay taxes of approximately $135,000 in that time on the property under the building and on personal property. Believing everything was going smoothly and that the abatement would pass through all the appropriate channels, many on the board seemed shock to learn there was now hesitancy coming from the county level.

Hartland Township Supervisor Bill Fountain said the county sees these requests from time to time and all they can hope for is a fair shake. Fountain said the county faced a similar situation to theirs in February in the Howell-area and that the process went through very quickly. Trustee Joe Colaianne asked Domas why, if the Howell plans were so quickly approved in February without any plans for the property, are the commissioners now nervous to approve the abatement in Hartland with a business proven to be successful ready to build.

Trustee Joe Petrucci projected it was because they were now seeing real numbers of what this actual business might do, as opposed to the Howell situation that was more open-ended. Domas said that the Howell job wasn’t his territory and stated that perhaps the county moved too quickly on it. He said he is simply doing his due diligence, as asked of him, with Hartland. The abatement will be on the county board’s agenda this Monday where they can support it, do nothing, or disallow it. A vote of disapproval stops the abatement and likely forces Emagine to look elsewhere. (MK)