Rockland to consider warehouse expansion proposal

The Rockland City Council will consider a tax increment financing plan Monday night that could spur the expansion of this warehouse on upper Park Street.
Stephen Betts
The Rockland City Council will consider a tax increment financing plan Monday night that could spur the expansion of this warehouse on upper Park Street. Buy Photo
Posted Sept. 09, 2013, at 3:25 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland City Council may be asked to approve a property tax break to help a company expand its warehouse.

The council is scheduled to meet Monday night with the city manager, in his role as economic development director, about a possible warehouse expansion that could involve the creation of a new tax increment financing district. The discussion also could involve city-owned land, according to the manager and that is why the discussion will be done in a closed-door session.

The property being considered is at 341 and 345 Park St., which is owned by 341 Park St. LLC and its principals Rufus and Susan Williams of Rockport. On the property is a nearly 58,000-square-foot warehouse that was built in 1979.

The corporation sought and received approval in April from the Rockland Planning Board for a nearly 37,000-square-foot expansion. The $930,000 expansion was projected to take six months to complete.

The expansion has yet to occur. Tax increment financing districts help municipalities use new property tax revenues for private or public projects. The city has used TIFs over the years for the expansion of the Nautica warehouse in the Industrial Park, the expansion of snow plow maker Fisher Engineering, and most recently to allow for planned improvements to the rear of the downtown business block where the Thorndike building is located.

Rufus Williams said Monday that his tenants in the warehouse include FMC and Frito Lay. He said demand for space is behind the request for the expansion.

Williams said that while he is hoping for a tax break, the expansion will still increase the city’s tax base and generate more taxes for the city.

City Manager James Smith was not available Monday to discuss details of either the tax increment financing district under consideration or the involvement of city land.

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