LIVERMORE FALLS — In order to keep the tax rate stable this year, the town would only be able to capture $50,000 of the $248,000 available from the tax-increment financing district, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said Tuesday.

Flagg and selectmen Louise Chabot, Jim Collins and Ron Chadwick met with consultant John Cleveland, president of Community Dynamics Corp. of Auburn, to discuss the next step for proposing a TIF budget. Community Dynamics was hired by the board in 2013 for $10,900 to help guide the town to put together a TIF application and district.

Voters authorized town officials in February to capture 90 percent of the new value of Central Maine Power Company’s $14 million upgrade at its substation on Moose Hill Road.

Under the TIF plan, the town can shelter $13.26 million of valuation this year with $13 million attributed to CMP’s upgrade and $265,300 to Lamb Block Associates LLC, which owns the Lamb Block on Depot Street and is in the TIF district.

The TIF funds are connected to promoting economic development in the town.

Selectmen previously directed Flagg to keep the tax rate down.

The assessing agent figured out that the town could use $50,000 of the TIF funds and keep the rate at $20.80 per $1,000 of valuation like it has been for three or four years. The remainder of the available funds that could be captured would go into the general fund to help with municipal expenses.

If the board decides to capture the whole $248,000, then the tax rate would go up $1.50 per $1,000 of value, Flagg said.

Flagg developed a proposed budget to use $53,872.64 in TIF funds. After learning what needs to be done to keep the rate flat, she said she could adjust some of the numbers to make it come in line with the $50,000.

The preliminary budget includes money to pay a portion of wages for the town manager and treasurer related to work on the TIF. The amount would be used to offset wages approved in the municipal budget, prior to setting the tax rate.

There are also funds in it to pay a portion of assessing agent and auditors fees related to the extra work on TIF.

There is $374.64 that the town can charge the TIF for the economic portion of Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments bill, Flagg said.

There also are funds in it related to the 17 percent of commercial users in Livermore Falls served by the town’s waste-water treatment plant.

“The $4,000 in the budget is an estimate of our share of the building for the bar screen that needs to be built before cold weather” at the plant, she said.

The preliminary TIF budget also includes $32,000 for a sidewalk project on Park Street. Voters approved taking the $32,000 from the the town’s surplus fund last year to reach the town’s $52,000 share for the project to expand the Foundry Road Path. By using TIF money to cover the $32,000, the money will not have to be taken from surplus, Flagg said. The project has not begun yet. Voters had approved the remaining $20,000 in a previous year.

The town also will be able to factor in Community Dynamics consulting fee of $10,900 in 2013-14 to help put the TIF application together, which can be covered by TIF funds, Cleveland said.

The preliminary TIF budget also includes $5,350 for Community Dynamics fee to continue to help the town with the TIF. Selectmen will consider contracting with the business at a future meeting.

Cleveland suggested that an economic development plan for the town be put together to guide it into the future.

It would give a framework for town officials to work with to decide what to pursue under the TIF, he said. He gave selectmen a number of suggestions, including putting together an operations procedure manual to clearly spell out with TIF funds can be spent on.

“It creates a document so people can refer to it over 30 years,” he said. The TIF is good for 30 years.

Selectmen’s Chairwoman Louise Chabot asked Cleveland to come up with a proposal and to bring it to the 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 meeting at the Town Office when a full board is expected to be present.

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