China TIF committee hears reports

by Mary Grow

Members of China’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) committee met Oct. 30 to receive progress reports on town projects funded with TIF money.

Representatives from the China Lake Association, China Region Lakes Alliance, Four Seasons Club, Thurston Park committee and China Broadband committee reported on expenditures and plans. Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood summarized town use of TIF money.

The Four Seasons Club uses TIF funds to rebuild recreational trails in China. Club president Tom Rumpf said the goal is trails so good they will need only routine maintenance in the future.

He told Hapgood the annual Ice Days fishing derby that the club coordinates is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.

China Region Lakes Alliance executive director Scott Pierz and China Lake Association president Stephen Greene explained hold-ups in some of the work planned in the China Lake watershed to improve the lake’s water quality.

Earlier this fall, the lake association and the Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District received a federal Clean Water Act grant for about $100,000, to be spent in 2024 and 2025. Greene intends to use the TIF grant and other association money toward projects carried out under the grant.

Hapgood said once money is approved for a project, it carries forward if the planned work gets postponed.

Committee members decided to set Friday, Dec. 29, as the deadline for submitting applications for TIF funding for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The TIF committee advises select board members on how to allocate TIF funds each year, after committee members review proposals and recommend expenditures. The money comes from taxes Central Maine Power Company pays on its north-south line through China and its substation in South China.

The TIF program was created by the Maine legislature and is overseen by the state Department of Economic and Community Development. Participating municipalities develop local plans for using TIF funds, which local voters approve.

China’s 60-page “Second Amended TIF Program,” approved in 2021, is on the website, under the TIF Committee in the category Officials, Board & Committees.

Committee members scheduled their next meeting for Monday evening, Jan. 22, 2024.


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