Council considers TIF application

Barbara Scott, Special to The County
12 years ago

During the regular meeting of the Caribou City Council held on Nov. 14, the following agenda items (not mentioned in previous article) were considered by the city council panel.

• A public hearing was opened to receive written and verbal input on the annual renewal of junkyard permits for Anderson’s Salvage; Gilbert’s Salvage; Mark’s Towing; and One Steel Recycling, Inc.  Councilor Martin requested information regarding the outcome of complaints against One Steel Recycling, Inc., which had included dust, noise and fumes. City Manager Steve Buck stated that the business had made several improvements and had plans to develop earthen berms, updating equipment, adding concrete to the yard and adding crushed stone to the driveway.

Present at the meeting was Steve Wentworth, city code enforcement officer who agreed with the city manager that One Steel Recycling had made improvements.

Kevin O’Leary, safety and environment officer for the recycling operation, located on Limestone Street, was also in attendance and addressed the panel. O’Leary stated that 400 feet of concrete had been laid to help reduce the amount of mud that had been going out into the street with plans in order to develop larger earthen berms to help reduce noise; load inspections are also being done to ensure there are no contaminates and equipment is being inspected looking for ways to reduce vehicle emitted fumes.

Councilors voted to approve all four junkyard permits.

• A public hearing was opened to receive written and verbal input on the proposed application to the state to establish a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) for the RC-2 Zone on U.S. Route 1 south of the city. Manager Buck explained the TIF background including goals that any dedicated revenues would support. According to Buck the immediate investment in the TIF would be the extension of three-phased electrical power, which has an estimated cost of $24,000. The city manager explained that any improvements in the TIF would not be speculative but done as development warranted.

Forty-eight landowners were notified of the public hearing. Anne and Steven Lagasse addressed the council with their concerns regarding being able to maintain property values for homes in the proposed TIF area and suggested to the council members that perhaps a TIF would be better established along the river on Limestone Street.

Property owners Phil and Denise Bosse informed the council that they had been in their home since 1976 and how the area had changed from residential to increased commercial use. The couple also described how they have experienced problems with their electricity, noise levels and light pollution since the construction of a potato storage facility near their property.

Another concern voiced by the homeowners was to whether or not they would be expected to be hooked up to a city sewer line if it is extended near their properties or if they chose not to, would they still be mandated to pay a sewer cost?

Bosse suggested the council remember that this zone is a residential commercial.

The council considered authorizing the continuation of the application to the state to establish a TIF district for the RC-2 zone on Route 1. A motion made by Councilor Miles Williams, seconded by Councilor Martin, to direct the administration to complete the RC-2 Tax increment Financing District application failed by two “yes” and four “no” votes. A second motion made by Councilor Mary Kate Barbosa, seconded by Goughan, to direct the administration to continue to work on the RC-2 TIF application to the state and to submit the same for council authorization prior to submission; was passed.

• The council considerd and approved a request from Caribou Fire Chief Roy Woods to purchase a required 12-lead cardiac monitor. The cost for a new unit is $34,000 but Chief Woods had informed the city administrators while working with Sgt. Vincent and the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO); they had located four 12-lead cardiac monitors that were ‘in the box’ and being shipped to Caribou. This purchase was approved.