China questions 11 & 12 comment by TIF chairman

by Amber McAllister, Chairman
Tax Increment Financing Committee

The November 8, 2016 local ballot contains two questions requesting appropriations based on recommendations from China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee. As Chairperson of the TIF Committee, I wanted to provide you with information about the Committee two proposed ballot questions.

In 2015 the Town of China was successful in a TIF application to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, resulting in the creation of Municipal TIF District and Development Program; the District term being 20 years with a town revenue allocation projected at $5.2 million. Projects associated with this Development Program are obligated to be connected directly to economic development.

The Select Board appointed a TIF Committee to develop prospective economic development projects and to provide guidance on those projects; to progress from original concepts through an ultimate town vote for final approval of projects. The TIF Committee is obligated to be mindful of the areas within the district and within the China municipality that are eligible for approval and funding. The TIF Committee has met over several months and has initially proposed the two following local ballot questions that the China Select Board has approved to be put on the November 8, 2016 ballot with recommendations for approval. A short reasoning statement is below each question and respective Select Board and Budget Committee recommendation.

Question 11. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of $50,000 from the Development Program Fund (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of Trails Maintenance and Bridge Capital Projects/Repairs associated with the China Four Seasons Club Trails Program; said maintenance and capital projects of the Four Seasons Club to be done on the CMP Powerline in the current fiscal year.

Select Board Recommends: Yes
Budget Committee Recommends: Yes

A major focus of China’s TIF Program application included trails maintenance. The current request is directly connected with economic development and will be used to fund much needed repairs and maintenance of trails. Our trails system attracts many visitors to the area and provides outdoor recreational options to residents.

Question 12. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Municipal Officers/Select Board to acquire land, more specifically described as Map 63 Lot 059-A, and further to appropriate an amount up to $10,000 from the Development Program Fund, (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of acquiring the property, and further to authorize the Select Board to execute said transaction as they deem in the best interest of the Town of China.

Select Board Recommends: Yes
Budget Committee Recommends: Yes

The Causeway Road was also a specific focus of the TIF Program application and the TIF Committee chose the improvement of the area as its highest priority. The proposed purchase of this land would provide options for the town as it proposes to improve Causeway Road pedestrian and vehicular safety, to implement measures to improve and sustain water quality in China Lake along the Causeway Road such as erosion control and sedimentation processing, to improve recreational activities on the Causeway Road, and to enhance the aesthetics of the general area. There would not be any fill-in of the wetland on the property. This property would be significant in the plan for improvements on the Causeway Road. The proposed property purchase is integral to the TIF Committee plan. Please help us move forward on these initiatives.

 
 

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