FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to accept an amended and restated credit enhancement agreement for a tax-break program it has with TransCanada Maine Wind Development.

The county entered into a tax-increment financing agreement in 2008 targeting specific areas of the unorganized territory that comprise the 44-turbine Kibby Mountain Wind Power Project in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to enter into an economic enhancement agreement with TransCanada.

“It allows Franklin County to garner some funds from the TIF to be able to be utilized outside the present district,” Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay said.

The county has three “silos of funds” that can be used from the TIF, he said.

Commissioners have been working with consultant John Cleveland, president of Community Dynamics Corp. of Auburn, on an amendment to the TIF for more than a year to expand the development program and geographic area to include more categories and more land. They also looked at the enhancement agreement with TransCanada Maine Wind Development.


In 2008, when the initial TIF was developed, it was estimated the county would retain $4 million over 20 years when commissioners entered into a credit-enhancement agreement with TransCanada. The TIF agreement allowed for 75 percent of the 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.

When the TIF was approved, the estimated cost of the project was $270 million, but by 2010, it was estimated to cost $320 million.

The TIF was amended in 2011 to include additional categories.

In January 2015, Cleveland told commissioners that not only could they amend the TIF to include more categories allowed under state law and expand the district, they could consider lengthening the TIF to 30 years and to structure the amendment to get the maximum benefit for the county.

There will be new categories in the amended TIF, Cleveland said Tuesday.

Once the proposal is ready, it will go to a public hearing, which has not been set.

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