State signs off on TIF district for Gray Village

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GRAY — The town has received state approval to move forward with a proposed municipal tax increment financing district, or TIF, in the Gray Village area.

Town voters previously approved the TIF proposal at a Feb. 14 special town meeting, where Gray Community Development Director Doug Webster said one of the primary ideas behind the TIF is to leverage resources to help support public infrastructure projects in the town.

After securing town approval, the town needed to get the go-ahead from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Gray received that state approval in a letter from Department Commissioner George Gervais dated May 22.

The Gray Village TIF will bring the town’s current TIF district total to three.

The new district will be effective July 1 and run for 30 years through 2048, according to the letter of approval. The district encompasses over 54o acres valued at more than $22 million.

The proposed TIF district would be in the Gray Village area and would include certain properties along five roadways converging in the area: Route 26 (Shaker Road), Route 202 (Main Street), Route 100 (Portland Road, Route 115 (Yarmouth Road), and Route 115/202 (West Gray Road).

In February, Webster stressed that the proposed TIF is not expected to be a “magic bullet” in the town’s infrastructure funding equation, “but it will be an integral part” in supporting infrastructure projects.

He said those projects could include an update to the stormwater system in the village, Route 115 improvements, sidewalks in various areas, culverts on West Gray Road, water mains, and possibly natural gas infrastructure.

TIF districts, as outlined in state law, allow municipalities to shelter increased property values from state valuation and use those funds for certain projects.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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