Voters approve TIF changes

By Stephanie Grinnell | Feb 27, 2014

Camden — During a special town meeting Feb. 25, voters approved both articles on the warrant.

The first article approved was the more controversial of the two: making amendments to the downtown Tax Increment Financing district. The approval results in a new title — Town of Camden Omnibus Downtown Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program — as well as the addition of several commercial properties in the area of Knox Mill. A credit enhancement option will also be added to the downtown TIF, along with an extension to 30 years.

Five town residents spoke on the matter during the public hearing preceding the vote.

"I think it's a really good idea," John Scholz said, though he questioned inclusion of a "jobs threshold" as part of the credit enhancement agreements. "I might be a little 'squirrelish' if you said I had to produce 10 jobs."

Peter Gross also spoke in support of the changes.

"I hope that everybody is going to support this tonight," he said.

Selectman Leonard Lookner said prior to the vote he did not support the extended time frame.

"It seems to me Joe Resident is getting it on the nose again," Lookner said.

A majority — 14 — voted in favor of amending the downtown TIF, while 10 residents were against the changes.

The second item addressed was a sewer easement on Sea Street. There were no comments from the public or selectmen and the easement unanimously was approved.

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Stephanie Grinnell
(207) 338-3333 ext. 110
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.

Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.

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