FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve $46,250 in TIF grants for improvements to trails and scenic turnarounds, advertising to promote the county and employment training scholarship.

A Tax-Increment Financing Application Review Committee received eight applications for grants and one for employment training skills in the third round of applications, Alison Hagerstrom, who oversees the grant committee, told commissioners. She is the executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Corp.

Three of the grant applications are complete and time sensitive, and the other five need more information to be supplied, she said. The committee will work with those applicants to submit what is needed, she said, and come back to commissioners.

The money for the grants and scholarships comes from TIF funds the county receives from a credit enhancement agreement with TransCanada Maine Wind Development related to the Kibby Wind Power Project on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner townships.

The agreement approved in 2008 allows for 75 percent of new taxes to be retained by the county over 20 years, with county commissioners reimbursing the company 60 percent of those new taxes annually for 20 years. The remainder of the TIF funds are dedicated to the county for economic development in the unorganized territory. Franklin County is expected to retain $4 million to enhance economic development.

The money needs to be spent on economic development in the Unorganized Territory in Franklin County.


In round one of applications, commissioners approved $85,774 in grants and scholarships, and approved $69,665 in the second round.

The TIF committee recommended that Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments’ application for $16,700 to improve scenic turnarounds off Route 27 at Sarampas Falls and Chain of Ponds Township be approved.

A byway committee will work in collaboration with the Maine Department of Transportation to improve the turnarounds and make safety improvements along the corridor. The TIF money will cover the cost of the turnout improvements.

The committee also recommended Franklin County Tourism Networks grant for $3,450 be approved to help pay for a project to promote the county. The grant will pay for a portion of the project.

This project will create a Franklin County lure page ad for a 2014 edition of “Maine Invites You” magazine. The purpose of this ad is to showcase what Franklin County has to offer as a whole, add to the area’s brand recognition as “Maine’s High Peaks” and create a streamlined, more effective marketing image for Franklin County towns and unorganized townships, according to a summary of the project.

The review panel also recommended the High Peaks Alliance grant request be approved for $24,500. The project is expected to cost $59,500, Hagerstrom said.


It is slated to develop a comprehensive inventory of trails to identify the uses and condition to be used as a blueprint of current needs and future opportunities, a summary states. Connecting People and Places will consist of detailed maps and accompanying action plans. These planning maps will include existing and proposed trails, problem areas, desired connectivity and recreational infrastructure such as rescue zones, signage, trail heads and parking.

Commissioners also approved an employment training scholarship for Deborah K. Staier of Freeman Township. Her request was for $2,000 but the committee recommended $1,600, Hagerstrom said.

She is studying horticulture and wants to open a business using the skills she gains, she said.

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