DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Hoping to spur downtown development, Dover-Foxcroft selectmen agreed Monday to draft plans for two simultaneous tax increment financing districts for the downtown, one for each side of the Piscataquis River.
To help aid the process, town officials plan to seek advice, obtain sample development plans from other Maine communities that have similar TIFs and engage the community in discussion.
“You can tailor these pretty much however you want,” Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey said of the development plans. Residents would have to approve the plans in a town meeting vote.
The current plan is to design a TIF for the property encompassing portions of River, East Main, Court, County, Pearl, Essex, Pleasant, Harvey and South streets.
A second TIF would include the Moosehead plant and would extend to Edes and Railroad avenues, Abby Drive and a portion of West Main Street.
“As far as the Moosehead Redevelopment project goes, we really need to look at a TIF district to encourage that project along,” Clukey said Monday.
Once a district was created, Clukey said whatever new value added by businesses or residential owners in the district over a period of time would be placed into a development fund. That fund could pay for improvements in the districts such as sidewalks and lighting, he said. The fund also could be used as a tax reduction on the new value added by the property or business owners or a combination of both, Clukey noted.
Selectman Scott Taylor said town officials need to reach out to the business community to identify their needs as part of the process. He also said the proposed district should include businesses along East Main Street.
“If people invest, it’s a way to put money back into that area,” Clukey said. It would be up to residents and businesses inside the district whether they participated in the TIF.
Clukey said the town would not lose any tax revenue in the process. The valuation in a district would always be at least what it was at the time of the district’s development, he told selectmen.