LISBON — Springworks Farm, an organic lettuce growing operation, intends to submit a proposal for a 30-year tax increment financing district encompassing the farm’s property. The founder and company attorney discussed the idea at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

Springworks Farm founder and president Trevor Kenkel stands in one of the massive greenhouses at the Lisbon farm in 2021. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

The company is hoping to expand its operations over the next five years to better compete with larger companies. A TIF district would allow them more capital for projects and help the company get other sources of financing for its expansion, according to founder Trevor Kenkel.

The farm wants to build out its greenhouse, he said. It is using about 20 of the 168 acres it owns. It employs 40 people and produces a couple of million heads of organic lettuce per year.

After a five-year buildout, the farm will employ roughly 200, he said. The property is assessed at just over $2 million but once the project is completed that value will go up to just over $13 million, Springworks attorney Zach Brandwein.

The town would be able to use the TIF funds for specific public purposes, Brandwein said. They would also be shared with Springworks to use toward its expansion project.

Economic and Community Development Director Ross Cunningham seemed to support the TIF district, stating that it will allow councilors to decide how those funds will be spent even after a new slate of councilors is voted in in the future.


The town has a March 1 deadline to seek approvals for a TIF district through the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, if it intends to develop one this year, according to Town Manager Glenn Michalowski.

Councilor Fern Larochelle felt councilors should take their time considering such a district, but he thinks it is a good opportunity. Cunningham said the approvals must be submitted by March 1 and he thinks the town can meet that deadline.

Councilor Mark Lunt suggested councilors discuss the idea of a TIF district with Cunningham in an executive session at a future meeting to consider how they want to proceed.

In other business, councilors appointed former Town Councilor Don Fellows to the Finance Committee. Fellows resigned from the council last month after he announced he would be wintering in Hawaii and cannot serve remotely.

Nomination papers are available for Fellows seat. The election will be March 5.

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