Wind mill tax program not worth the ‘headache’

0

Canton Mountain Wind is a 22.8-megawatt project in Oxford County, consisting of eight wind turbines. The project is fully permitted and early stage construction is underway. The project is expected to be completed in late 2017, according to the Patriot Renewables webpage. (Patriot Renewables web page)

CANTON — A tax-increment financing project that selectmen were told could capture $40,000 to $80,000 per year will not provide as much of a tax incentive as selectmen had hoped it would.

Revenue from a $50 million wind turbine project being developed on Canton Mountain was to provide the investment money for the TIF, but tax consultant Mathew Eddy of Brunswick told the select board Thursday that the tax rate for the TIF could not go beyond 5 percent “because of a statute law that only applies to wood and pulp mills.”

Advertisement

He said the town ranks as a poor community in every category except for the expected income from the wind turbines, so he felt that they “should be able to do something different.”

“So I guess at that point, is it really worth even doing it?” Selectman Rob Walker asked, adding that he thought a TIF could mean more “headaches with the bookkeeping side,” and that other kinds of capital projects might be better for the town’s investments.

While the rest of the selectmen agreed with Walker that the investment no longer presented a worthwhile savings for their wind turbine funds, Selectman Don Hutchins said that he thought they should contact their state legislators and ask them to create a TIF pilot with the town.

“We’re a small town getting a raw deal,” Hutchins said. “That’s a lot of leverage in Augusta because there’s just so many small towns. (If we can) get the right people in the room we can really make something happen.” 

In other business:

* Selectman Brian Keene announced the resignation of Code Enforcement Officer Scotty Kilbreth, who is also the town administrator. In Kilbreth’s letter of resignation, he said that due to restraints on his personal time he was resigning as the town code officer, effective immediately. Kilbreth has served as code officer for the past four years and six or seven times since 1988, he said.

* Kilbreth told the selectmen that the town sold its first cemetery lot at the Pine Grove Cemetery on Route 108 for $500 on Thursday. The 10- by 17-foot lot has enough space for four caskets or a dozen urns, he said.

Townspeople approved the ownership of the cemetery at their town meeting last year following an offer for town ownership by the secretary of the cemetery’s former trustees.

* C.N. Brown donated $5,000 toward weatherization and restoration services for the Canton Historical Society building that they gifted to the town over the summer.

Originally, the business planned to demolish the Masonic Hall to create a larger parking space for its Big Apple store, but the company chose to donate it to the Historical Society. In September, the Historical Society and townspeople demolished its neighboring building and moved the donated building into its place. The Historical Society and the town plan to revitalize the building for historical collections and community events.

* In honor of Veterans Day, a World War II presentation and exhibit will be held Sunday, Nov. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Town Office meeting room.

An interactive talk on the history of WWII, including hands-on demonstrations of uniforms, equipment and weapons will take place during the event. All weapons have been deactivated and made safe for public viewing. Admission is free and all donations will benefit the Canton Historical Society.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

Advertisement