Route 4 Sewer & Water Extension - A Tax Increment Finance District Project
The Sewer & Water Extension is an approved project of the Town of Enfield Tax Increment Finance District Plan, adopted at Town Meeting, March 14, 2005.
Town Meeting Approval
Approval of the Route 4 Sewer & Water Extension Project
March 17, 2012 Town Meeting Minutes
Article 5: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of two million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($2,750,000) (gross budget) for the construction of a sewer main extension along US Route 4 from Baltic Street approximately one mile to the Enfield/Canaan town line, to raise and appropriate the sum of four hundred fifty thousand dollars ($450,000) (gross budget) for the construction of a water main extension along US Route 4 from Baltic Street easterly to approximately one mile to the Enfield/Canaan town line; to authorize the issuance of not more than $3,200,000 of bonds or notes and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon, in accordance with RSA 162-K:8. All dedicated tax increments received by the municipality pursuant to RSA 162-K:10 shall be pledged for the payment of these bonds and used to reduce or cancel the taxes otherwise required to be extended for this purpose, and to authorize the annual withdrawal of funds from the Tax Increment Finance District Fund in an amount sufficient to cover payments of said bond in accordance with RSA 162-K.
Special Warrant Article
2/3 Paper Ballot Vote Required
The Board of Selectmen recommends this article by a vote of 2-0.
The Budget Committee recommends this article by a vote of 9-0.
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J. Kluge made the motion to accept the article as printed; F. Cummings seconded. Town Manager Steven Schneider narrated a PowerPoint Presentation (click on link to view - Adobe Acrobat Reader required). He pointed out that the water/sewer extension project was the major reason the Tax Increment Finance District Plan was adopted in 2005. We have available sewer capacity to support new businesses and the availability of water and sewer will encourage commercial development. The engineering design has been completed and work may begin next month, April of 2012, and tentatively be completed by November.
J. Theis asked if there were any plans to re-surface Shaker Hill Road, especially if it may be used as an alternate route during construction. S. Schneider answered that the Town is still battling with the State DOT for necessary repairs. K. Gotthardt asked if trucks will be allowed on Shaker Hill Road and Jones Hill Road. S. Schneider answered that they will be allowed but he can’t foresee that they’ll want to use them.
B. Hettleman stated that he thought this article was a terrible idea and that a lot of half-truths were being presented. All the taxes captured by the TIF District are not available for ambulance or firetruck purchases, etc. so everyone else’s taxes go up. Any enhanced monies from development in the TIF District will go back to the TIF District, not to the Town general fund for other things. We should get rid of the TIF District and put those taxes back in the general Town coffers. This is a terrible turnout today, which may sway the vote. Please vote this down now and vote out the TIF District next year.
L. Shippen asked what time of day construction will start and what about the school buses that use Route 4. S. Schneider answered construction should begin about 7:00 a.m. and that the school buses will still use Route 4. While delays are anticipated, traffic will still flow in both directions and delays kept as minimum as possible. C. Aufiero asked if the TIF District will pay for increased police, fire and road maintenance that more development will bring.
S. Schneider replied that the property taxes from new businesses will cover services. Eventually the TIF District will be dissolved, either when the bond is paid off or no more infrastructure projects are required in the area. R. Cusick spoke in favor of the Article, noting that this is the only area in town available for commercial development, and anything added for future projects to the TIF District will have to be presented for a Town Meeting vote. J. Kluge stated that the TIF District was created at Town Meeting by the people. The Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee both support this Article, seeing it as necessary for the future economic development of the Town. Not all the taxes from the TIF District remains in the TIF District, only a percentage of it. We will see more tax dollars as we have commercial development, which will take the pressure off residential properties.
H. Trumbull said that he sees the need for commercial development and that he’s observed R.D. Edmunds (construction contractor) in Lebanon and they do a great job.
T. Jennings stated that sewer lines are needed in that area as some of the empty buildings have no sewer system and used to pump into Lovejoy Brook. The McConnell Well is within this area and is a high capacity well but has very hard water; with sewer lines available a water treatment plant could be built and McConnell Well utilized. Concerned that zoning and land use regulations are not in place that should be before development takes place. Also wetlands are prevalent in that area and not available for development. S. Hagerman stated that residential development costs Towns money, while commercial development makes Towns money so she supports this. L. Hackeman moved the question. C. Maynard asked about increased traffic on Shaker Hill Road because it is all ready seeing increased traffic because the Shaker Bridge is out. S. Schneider replied that the Bridge should be open in mid-August.
D. Stewart pointed out that the taxes captured by the TIF District are not available for other things and that he is concerned about taking out a thirty-year bond. If a grocery store should be built there the taxes it generates should be used to pay off the bond. We may all be dead in thirty years so maybe it won’t matter anyways but hate seeing such a long term obligation.
S. Schneider pointed out that there is no pre-payment penalty on the bond and that the Board of Selectmen plans to pay it off as soon as possible. W. Smith stated that he was in favor of the Article but wondered how the TIF District raised the money to pay off the bond if the TIF District is paying for the construction. S. Schneider said that the town-wide revaluation raised assessments so more money was raised from the TIF District. R. Cusick made the motion to move the question, R. Crate seconded. Audience approval from a voice vote. The Moderator declared the polls open for one hour.
Article passed as printed by a paper ballot vote. 104 Yes, 33 No.