PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Amid controversy over a lack of public input for a new 30-year tax treaty for the private entity that controls part of the city’s deepwater port, the Providence City Council tabled the issue Thursday night rather than voting as scheduled.

City Councilman Pedro Espinal, who represents the area of South Providence where the port is located, said the 30-year tax treaty for ProvPort would be considered by the next council, set to take office in January. A proposed extension of the organization’s lease and a new bond, however, is still in play for this term, though it was also tabled Thursday night.

“I think it’s healthy to take a pause at this time,” Bill Fischer, a spokesperson for ProvPort, told 12 News. “The dialogue will continue and we can create a better understanding about where this is going to go.”

Councilman Espinal told 12 News he was happy the matter was tabled Thursday.

“It gives us an opportunity on the resolution to go back to the drawing board,” Espinal said.

Critics accused city leaders of trying to rush through the deal, which was negotiated by Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration and introduced to the City Council in November. The tax treaty and a lease extension until 2052 were approved by the Council Finance Committee on Monday night.

Elorza and half the City Council are leaving office in one month.

“For over two years, my administration has worked diligently to negotiate this agreement and bond authorization in the best interest of the City. Introduction to the Council was the next step in the process, which happened to fall during a time of transition,” Mayor Elorza said in a statement to 12 News Thursday night.

“I respect the Council’s process and understand the magnitude of this agreement,” Elorza continued. “That being said, I believe the agreement is a good deal for the City and the bond authorization in particular provides much needed investment in Washington Park and lower South Providence.”

Council President John Igliozzi echoed that sentiment, telling 12 News it was in the best interest of all involved to get the bond agreement settled sooner rather than later.

“Everybody realizes financially, for the health of the city, and its ability to utilize this bond money, this is going to be continued to talked about,” Igliozzi said Thursday night. “Probably in the near future, this present month, the council will bring this back up and we’ll have further conversations and work on a compromise on getting the bond money issued.”

ProvPort, a nonprofit that controls part of the port and outsources management to Waterson Terminal Services, said they needed the long-term deal in order to get offshore wind tenants to commit to leasing at the port.

But opponents said the city’s climate justice goals should have been factored into the agreement.

“There are issues that have been going on with the Port of Providence entirely. It has to do with a lot of contamination, and people have been getting sick, so people are very concerned,” Espinal said. “They want to make sure that any agreement that is done with ProvPort at this time, and any work that is done in Prov Port, that they actually take their concerns into consideration and that those issues are addressed.”

Critics also argued a three-decade tax deal should be taken up by the new councilors elected last month, not the lame-duck council currently in office.

The tax deal would continue exempting ProvPort from paying property taxes for the next 30 years, but would increase the share of its revenues that it must give to the city from roughly 5% to 9%.