FAIRFIELD — The Town Council voted to double the size of the town’s tax increment financing district stretching from Eskelund Drive to U.S. Route 201.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said the council approved the measure at its Sept. 27 meeting with little discussion. There was a public hearing, but no one attended. The council passed the measure without issue, and Flewelling said it has submitted its proposal to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development for approval.

The district was formed in 2004 and includes almost every lot on Eskelund Drive as well as several lots on U.S. Route 201 north of Interstate 95. Three lots on Eskelund Drive owned by Kennebec Valley Community College were completely encircled by the TIF district lots. The town added parcels of land now owned by Good Will-Hinckley at the school’s northern campus, which the school originally had considered for future development. Since all those parcels were owned by schools, the land was tax-exempt.

A TIF district allows municipalities to capture revenue for municipal development projects from the tax value of improvements. The existing district encompasses 24 lots that take up just over 315 acres in the town. Adding the lots from the schools, as well as a few additional town-owned land parcels, brings the total to 31 lots amounting to just over 671 acres.

While the land getting added to the district is tax-exempt, it could be developed commercially in the future and the town could provide incentives to a developer.

The district was started with the expectation it would grow 5 percent each year, though ultimately that didn’t happen. The district, which largely is set up to finance sewer infrastructure replacement, is set to expire in June 2035.

Councilors also approved amending the language defining the district to say it would capture 75 percent of the revenue, whereas previously it was capturing 100 percent. The remaining 25 percent goes into a general fund.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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