SKOWHEGAN — A tax break for the proposed Kennebec Valley Gas Co. pipeline, a fireworks ordinance, a road ordinance and a state bond grant all are part of the agenda for a special town meeting Tuesday night.

Voting on the seven-article town meeting warrant is set for 7 p.m. in the council room of the Municipal Building on Water Street.

Voters will be asked to approve a tax increment financing district for the pipeline, which holds an estimated assessed value for taxation in Skowhegan of $4.67 million.

The company hopes to build an $86 million natural gas pipeline from Richmond to Madison by 2014. To do that, construction would need to be completed in 2013. The total amount of taxation on the property would be about $72,380 per year.

If voters approve the TIF, 80 percent of new property taxes would return to the developer during the first 10 years of the 15-year agreement to offset construction costs, with 20 percent to the town for economic development.

For the final five years of the agreement, 60 percent would return to the developer and 40 percent to the town. After that, the town would keep 100 percent of the tax revenue. None of the TIF money would go into the town’s general fund.

In addition, $42,765 of the cost of the project would be sheltered keep the town’s state valuation lower. With that tax shelter, Skowhegan would pay less to School Administrative District 54 and Somerset County, and would receive more state funding through municipal revenue sharing.

Voters also will be asked to shift part of the existing downtown TIF district into the new KV Gas TIF.

The fireworks ordinance would allow sale and use of most consumer fireworks, with some exceptions, in certain parts of town outside the downtown area. A new state law allows the sale and use of fireworks throughout Maine and it’s up to communities whether they want to regulate them further.

The sale of fireworks would require a conditional permit from the Board of Selectmen. Applicants cannot have a felony criminal record.

If the vote is no, then residents will be asked to vote at the annual town meeting in June to ban possession and sale of fireworks Commercial grade fireworks can only be displayed in Maine by licensed companies.

Selectmen recommend approval of the ordinance.

In the first article Tuesday night, voters will be asked to accept a $400,000 Communities for Maine Future bond grant as part of the revitalization of the downtown. The state Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded the money to the town to improve the municipal parking area. Voter approval is necessary to accept the grant.

Voters next will be asked to approve a new road ordinance to establish specifications for the design and construction of public and private roads and entrances. The 19-page ordinance spells out rules for line-of-sight distances, permitting, design and construction standards for all road improvements and construction.

The ordinance also outlines rules for driveways and residential and commercial entrances for drainage, erosion, finished surfaces and frontage requirements. There also are provisions for storm water management, placement of stone monuments and acceptance of a newly constructed road as a town way.

The Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board both recommend passage of the article. Copies of the ordinance are available at the Municipal Building.

Residents also will be asked to amend the town’s Planning Board ordinance, adopted in 1991. The changes would make the board chairman call at least one regular meeting each month. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the chairman or the full board, based on it bylaws and no meetings can be held without a quorum of four of the seven members present.

Selectmen and the Planning Board both support the measure.

Voters also will be asked to amend the bylaws of the town’s Budget and Finance Committee. Under the proposed guidelines, the committee will be comprised of 11 members who are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Members will serve three-year terms and meet quarterly in open session.

Any member missing more than two consecutive meetings without notifying the committee chairman or the town manager will be automatically terminated. Selectmen must submit their proposed budget for the coming year to the Budget Committee no less than 30 days before the annual town report is to go to the printers. The committee, in turn, will makes its recommendations for the budget in writing to selectmen for inclusion on the town meeting warrant 30 days before the annual town meeting in June.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee recommend approval.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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