A little more than 20 Randolph residents unanimously approved establishing two tax increment financing districts at a special town meeting Tuesday night.

The districts will allow the town to designate new tax revenue from the construction of a proposed hardware store and natural gas pipelines for specific infrastructure improvements. The proposed tax district for the hardware store — a project from two owners of Damariscotta Hardware — will also return up to $300,000 to the store to help cover the cost of constructing the new building.

The owners will present their proposal to the Planning Board and the public at 6 p.m. Thursday at the town office.

One of the owners opening the hardware store, Damariscotta Hardware President Rob Gardiner, said they wouldn’t be able to locate the store at the proposed site on Water Street between Windsor and Elm streets without the tax district because of the high cost of constructing a new building in a flood zone.

Since new buildings can’t be built in the floodplain, the owners of the store will have to raise the land up 11 to 12 feet with compacted fill. The cost of that alone will be roughly $300,000, according to the proposal.

Starting next year, the proposed tax district will return 100 percent of the new tax revenue at the property back to the store for the first two years. The percent of credit enhancement returned to the store will decline by five percent every two years until it reaches zero after 20 years. The entire tax district value will go to the town for the remaining ten years.

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The tax increment financing proposal is projecting that $248,000 of new tax revenue will be returned to the store and $232,000 will go to the town’s new development fund.

All of the new revenue from natural gas pipelines that have been built and will be built by Summit Natural Gas of Maine will fund various infrastructure improvements, public safety equipment and other economic development costs.

The tax district for the natural gas pipeline will follow the entire length of Randolph’s Water Street and extend along part of School Street. It also includes the natural gas company’s valve station.

The tax district is expected to add nearly $1 million to the town’s development fund over its 30-year lifespan.

The tax districts will also allow the town to shelter the new development from being used to calculate its state valuation for the duration of the agreements. This will decrease the percentage the city has to pay for its share of county and school district costs and increase the amount of municipal revenue sharing and education aid from the state.

Both proposed districts still need to be given final approval by the state.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig


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