City considering possible changes to downtown TIF eligible projects

By Ben Holbrook | Feb 28, 2013

Belfast — The city is looking at possible amendments to its development plan to identify potential projects eligible for funding from the downtown-waterfront Tax Increment Financing district.

Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge explained at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting that the city could revise the list of potential projects that would be eligible for funding using revenue from the Downtown Waterfront TIF District.

Kittredge said the projects included in the list are ones that could be completed within the next 25 years. He also noted that the projects would all be eligible for funding using TIF revenue, as far as he knew.

A copy of the proposed projects eligible for funding can be found at cityofbelfast.org/archives/38/February%2019,%202013.pdf on page 36.

Kittredge said the goal is to have the application completed by March 7 for public review and comment before final approval is given on March 19. The application would then be submitted to the state following the March 19 vote.

Councilor Nancy Hamilton asked for clarification to ensure that the city wouldn’t be required to complete all the projects on the list. Kittredge explained that including projects on the list only makes them eligible for funding — it does not mean the city is obligated to complete them.

City Manager Joseph Slocum further explained that the primary reason for amending the city’s downtown TIF district application is due to the increased revenue generated by the construction of Front Street Shipyard’s buildings. Prior to that, the district brought in very little revenue.

“We’re just updating how the money could be spent,” Slocum said.

Councilors chose to cease further discussion and revisit the list during their next scheduled meeting on March 5.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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