FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners agreed Tuesday to fund two grant requests for $55,000 through the county’s tax-increment financing grant program to promote and support marketing of northern Franklin County.
The Tax-Increment Financing Application Review Committee made the recommendations to the commissioners to support the requests for $30,000 from Flagstaff Area Business Association and $25,000 for the Franklin County Network of Networks.
Three members of the five-member committee reviewed the applications while two members connected to the proposals did not vote. Alison Hagerstrom, executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Corp., and county Clerk Julie Magoon oversee the applications.
The two applications were submitted last year.
The Network of Networks proposal includes some sort of portal for marketing, Hagerstrom said. The organization has matching money that will be used for the whole project, costing about $63,000, she said.
Flagstaff Area Business Association, a membership organization, will market the region that includes Eustis, Rangeley and Carrabassett Valley.
Hagerstrom read a thank-you letter from Deborah K. Staier of Freeman Township, who earned an associate degree in horticulture from Southern Maine Community College. She received about $3,600 in scholarships from the county’s TIF training and skills program over a three-year period. She plans to start a business and is in the final stage of completing a greenhouse.
“She is very thankful,” Hagerstrom said.
It was estimated in 2008 that the county would retain $4 million over 20 years when it entered a credit-enhancement agreement with TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc., a wholly owned affiliate of TransCanada Corp. The TIF is related to the 44-turbine Kibby Wind Power Project in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County.
The county had spent approximately $517,884 of the $4 million since March 2012, not including Tuesday’s grant amounts, to improve trails and scenic byways and other projects, along with granting education scholarships. As of September 2014, the county had received $2.29 million from the TIF, according to county officials.
The county is in the process of working on an amendment to the TIF agreement in order to expand the geographic area and categories on which the money can be spent.