TIF committee gives manager OK on land offer

by Mary Grow

China TIF (Tax Increment Finance) Committee members held a short Feb. 25 meeting, with decisions made on two agenda items and absences blocking progress on two others.

By unanimous votes, committee members:

  • Authorized Town Manager Dennis Heath to request that selectmen make an offer to Susan Bailey for the small piece of land across from the boat landing at the head of China Lake’s east basin, based on a real estate agent’s opinion of a fair value. Committee member H. David Cotta suggested any purchase be made conditional on state approval to continue to use the space for boat landing parking.
  • Authorized a request to selectmen to approve a payment on the Causeway Street replacement bridge just west of the boat landing. Heath said a little over $75,000 will be left to cover final paving and other remaining work.

Committee members expected someone from Kennebec Valley Council of Governments to attend the meeting to discuss KVCOG’s role in the proposed revolving loan fund, but no one came.

As committee member Any Gartley explained the plan, China will offer supplementary loans from TIF money to people needing a few thousand dollars in additional resources to open a new business, expand a business or otherwise add to economic development in town.

A subcommittee including TIF Committee and budget committee members has been working on the program. They envision a resident filling out an application that is reviewed by the subcommittee and the full TIF Committee and approved by selectmen. KVCOG staff would help with the mechanics of executing the loan.

So far, Gartley said, there is no final application form.

TIF Committee Chairman Frank Soares is ready to start planning for the second phase of the causeway project, intended to create improved recreational access along the shore between the bridge and the boat landing. However, he is waiting for the return from Florida of committee member Tom Michaud, head of the subcommittee that oversaw the bridge work.

China’s TIF money comes from taxes assessed on Central Maine Power Company’s transmission line that runs through town and the substation in South China.

Committee members scheduled their next meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 25.


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