FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a tax-increment financing agreement with Woodlands Senior Living.

The agreement is subject to a town meeting vote. Town Manager Richard Davis is working with the town attorney to set a special town meeting for July 26. 

The terms of the TIF agreement are for 10 years at 100 percent for phase one, Davis said.

Property taxes on the center would be deferred for 10 years, or fewer if the organization is ready to start on phase two. But once the TIF period is over, the town will gain from the $12 million valuation of the new center, he said.

The board has met in executive session with Lon Walters and his son, Matthew Walters, from Woodlands Senior Living to iron out terms for the TIF agreement.  

The Walterses propose to build a Memory Care Center on property off Knowlton Corner Road formerly owned by Tom and Janice Daku. The plans include a 36-bed facility that will employ 32 people.

The board visited Woodlands Memory Care in Lewiston last week.

“I was very impressed with the facility, staffing and accommodations,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said. 

“It is for the betterment of the town,” Selectman Michael Fogg said. “It feels right and will be a boost to our area. It is a much-needed service.”

The proposed 20,000-square-foot facility would become the company’s seventh specialized memory care center. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 29,000 people in Maine live with dementia. Of those, about 1,000 people are estimated to live in Franklin County, according to Matthew Walters.

Woodlands Senior Living, headquartered in Waterville, has built 12 facilities around the state since Lon Walters started the company in 1980. Six of those specialize in memory care, providing housing and care to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

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