NORRIDGEWOCK — The committee tasked with looking at ways to revitalize the downtown area has recommended selling the vacant fire station on Main Street to a local businessman to expand his business.

The town’s Tax Increment Financing Advisory Committee, which recommends how to spend TIF money, received two proposals for 70 Main St., which was the town’s fire station from 1960 until 2016 when a new station was built elsewhere on Main Street. Town Manager Richard LaBelle said both proposals were from local business owners. One came from Eric Everett of Everett’s Tire, LLC, proposing to use the building for storage space for used tire sales, and the other from Chris Alves proposing to establish a laundromat. LaBelle said the committee is recommending the Board of Selectmen enter into negotiations with Everett over his tire storage proposal.

LaBelle said he and the committee were pleased to see two local business owners who were passionate about seeing Norridgewock move ahead and begin revitalizing the downtown.

“We were pleased with what came in,” LaBelle said. “We were happy to see local business people hoping to invest in their community.”

LaBelle said Everett’s proposal cited increased sales of used tires, which is why he wants to purchase and develop the site to supplement his existing business on Main Street. Everett is also proposing to develop an auto detailing business in the building.

“He has a growing market for used tires and has need for storage space,” LaBelle said.

LaBelle said Alves, in addition to proposing a laundromat, sought to include dry cleaning or a wash-and-fold operation as well. Alves, who owns a local plumbing and heating business, was also open to the possibility of including a business such as a barber shop in the space.

The committee reviewed the proposals in late July and made their recommendation to the Selectmen in a memo dated Aug. 10. Selectmen are aware of the proposals, but have not had a chance to discuss them yet. They will do so at their Aug. 16 regular meeting. LaBelle said it is possible the selectmen could vote on whether to accept the recommendation at the meeting.

“The item on the agenda allows for them to take action,” he said. “Whether or not they will is purely the pleasure of the board.”

There will also be an opportunity for public input at the Wednesday meeting on the proposal. LaBelle said he would not speculate on whether the board will act Wednesday.

In addition to recommending Everett’s proposal in their memo, the TIF committee recommends the Board of Selectmen “work with the proposer to negotiate a greater purchase price for the building, to achieve a higher degree of aesthetic appeal (beyond painting/siding the building), and to have aesthetic improvements completed within a specified time period.”

The committee wants to focus on the downtown primarily. The TIF extends beyond the downtown area, but the committee wants to focus on the area around U.S. Route 2 and Route 139 especially in terms of aesthetics. Redevelopment of the vacant fire station was one of the TIF committee’s main charges.

A TIF district allows municipalities to capture revenue for various municipal development projects from the tax value of improvements. Norridgewock’s TIF district is centered around the Summit Natural Gas pipeline. Voters at this year’s Town Meeting approved allowing the Board of Selectmen to dispose of the fire street property.

The committee will meet again on Aug. 25, and LaBelle said they will be looking at gateway signage for the downtown area.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis