Orrington residents modify Bangor Hydro tax deal, add CMP TIF at annual town meeting

Posted June 04, 2013, at 3 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — Residents at Monday’s annual town meeting modified a 2008 tax increment finance district for Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. and officially designated the money be used for public improvements.

They also created another 100-acre Central Maine Power Co. TIF to cover the $15 million investment CMP has made in town as part of its Maine Power Reliability Program project to improve capacity along its 485-mile transmission lines between Orrington and Eliot, Town Manager Paul White said Tuesday.

“Both the TIFs passed and the land use ordinance changes passed with no discussion,” Town Clerk Susan Carson said Tuesday.

When a TIF district is created, tax revenues from projects in the district go into a town revenue fund instead of the state’s general fund, and therefore are sheltered from state and county taxes. The funds can only be used for certain projects that are approved by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which oversees the TIF program.

About 60 residents were at the annual meeting and all of the warrant articles, including the $9.3 million combined municipal and school budget, passed fairly quickly.

“We will be able to maintain, with the additional property tax revenues, our mill rate of $13.45 for the third year in a row,” White said.

The new TIF district also includes approximately 15 acres of land in the Orrington Business Park on Brewer Lake Road and about 41 acres along 5.6 miles of town roads on Johnson Mill Road, Center Drive and Route 15.

The 2008 Bangor Hydro TIF covered the transfer station, sheltering around $129,000 annually from state taxes that instead go directly into a town savings account, residents were told at the annual town meeting that year. That TIF was estimated to save the town more than $30 million over 30 years.

Residents on Monday amended the 2008 Bangor Hydro TIF to increase the amount of revenue sheltered by the town and officially designated the money be used for public improvements.

“The new value … is just over $201,000,” White said, adding that the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development still needs to approve the change.

School board incumbent Sherry Norwood got 97 votes during local elections held Monday to earn another 3-year term, and Erica Libby, with 94 votes, will replace Kyle Casburn who decided not to run, according to Carson.

Selectman incumbent James Goody, with 56 votes, easily earned another term with at least double the votes tallied for those who ran against him. Bernard M. McDonald took in 25 votes; Steven Mitchell got 23; Luther Spencer Jr. tallied 17; and William Wheeler received 17, the elections results show.

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