SKOWHEGAN — A tax break for the proposed Kennebec Valley Gas Co. pipeline was overwhelmingly approved by voters at a special town meeting Tuesday night.

An ordinance to regulate fireworks in town was voted down, but could be revisited in June.

About 50 people attended the meeting.

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

KV Gas 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. Under 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.

The fireworks ordinance would have allowed 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 fireworks ordinance spurred a lot of discussion, with some of those at the meeting calling for a total ban and others saying it was too restrictive.

The Board of Selectmen agreed to re-examine the ordinance for a possible second look at the regular annual town meeting in June.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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