FARMINGTON — The delay in tax increment financing agreement approval by selectmen will not interfere with the contract Woodlands Senior Living hopes to enter into this week with the owners of a 38-acre lot for a residence for seniors with memory impairments.

At their meeting Tuesday night, selectmen approved construction of the sewer main necessary for the 36-bed project, while discussion of the TIF was tabled until the next meeting, Tuesday, April 26, so the board can negotiate the terms of the agreement in executive session.

Matthew Walters, an owner of the Waterville-based company, said Wednesday he is confident the TIF will go forward once an agreement is reached. The purchase and sale agreement on the Knowlton Corner Road land includes a contingency provision that says that if the TIF isn’t approved, the deal is off.

“We have every indication that there is support for the project, and every indication that there is support for a TIF. When you have two sides that are motivated, we usually find a way for it to work,” Walters said.

Selectmen unanimously approved construction of a 2,000-foot-long sewer main for the building that would run from the intersection of Wilton Road and Knowlton Corner Road.

In an April 8 letter to Town Manager Richard Davis, Walters said the company hopes to be under contract this week to buy the farmland on Knowlton Corner Road.


Walters requested a 10-year TIF agreement in which 100 percent of tax revenue would be reimbursed to the company in order to make the project financially viable.

While selectmen had no reservations about the idea of entering into a TIF agreement with Woodlands, they moved to table accepting an agreement until the terms could be negotiated during executive session at the next meeting.

Woodlands has agreed to cover the project’s engineering costs if Farmington picks up construction costs. A ballpark figure for the cost of building the main is not known yet, but Davis is in the process of applying for a grant of up to $250,000, with a $50,000 match requirement. Davis said that money from the Franklin Printing TIF reserve account could be used as the matching $50,000.

TIF agreements can continue for up to 30 years with varied rates of tax reimbursement. Walters stressed Wednesday that Woodlands’ concern is reimbursement on the front end of the project, but he said there is room to negotiate the initial terms he presented to selectmen.

“The importance for us is on the front end because the development costs are so high,” Walters said.

Walters said the company, which he co-owns with his father, Lon, is excited about continuing doing business with Farmington, as Davis and the selectmen have been accommodating in connection with the project so far. He said the company was drawn to develop a memory care residence in Farmington because there is nothing similar in the region.


Woodlands owns 12 senior care homes in Maine, and the closest memory care center to Farmington is in Waterville or Hallowell.

The $4 million Farmington residence would generate 30 full-time jobs, Walters said.

Once the administrative parts of approving the project are completed, including the TIF agreement, Walters said, ground could be broken on the project as early as August; but that is a variable start date. The project could be completed within a year of breaking ground, he said.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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