Chelsea residents will have a chance Wednesday night to ask questions or voice concerns about a proposal to create a tax increment financing district for recently installed natural gas pipeline before they vote on the issue at a special town meeting next week.

The TIF district would allow the town to shield the $6.9 million taxable value of the pipeline from the town’s state valuation and to use the revenue for specific economic development and infrastructure projects.

The public hearing is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Chelsea Elementary School cafeteria. A regular Board of Selectmen meeting will be held after the public hearing.

One of the main reasons for establishing the TIF district is to prevent the increased value from negatively affecting the amount the town receives in state aid, the amount of taxes the town pays the county and the town’s contribution to the school district, according to a draft document of the plan. If the pipeline increased the overall valuation of the town, the town would receive less in funding from the state for education and municipal revenue sharing.

The $6.9 million estimated value of the pipelines will generate about $118,680 in additional tax revenue the first year and an estimated $2.5 million in 30 years, according to a draft document.

Instead of going to the town’s general fund, that new revenue would go to a specifically designated TIF fund to be used for a dozen economic development projects, including repairing and replacing roads damaged by the pipeline installation, the implementation of an economic development program and the development of recreation trails.

The plan also calls for TIF money to be used to cover 50 percent of the cost of a new tanker truck for the fire department.

The 6.5 miles of natural gas pipeline have been installed by Maine Natural Gas Company and Summit Natural Gas of Maine over the last two years.

The special town meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Chelsea Elementary School gymnasium.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig