By John Fitts
CANTON — A consultant charged with helping the town work on plan to help jumpstart redevelopment of the Collins Company complex began its work Tuesday.
During the day, representatives from Saratoga-Springs based Camoin Associates, in the first of several visits to town, interviewed complex owner “Rusty” Tilney, talked to merchants and potential developers and spoke at two public meetings as the first step in developing a Tax Increment Finance, or TIF, Master Plan for the property and perhaps some of the surrounding area. TIF involves taking a portion of the additional tax revenues generated by a development, or redevelopment, and investing them back into the project and/or related improvements.
At a public workshop Tuesday evening Camoin senior vice president Jim Damicis provided an overview for approximately 30 residents and the Canton Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Steering Committee.
In this case, the master plan would involve the general guidelines the town could use as a springboard to enter into an agreement with a future developer. Damicis said his company has been involved in some 75 projects, mostly in Maine and is excited about a relatively new state law that revamps the process in Connecticut. It’s not a cure-all but a powerful tool, he said.
“This is not a silver bullet for economic development,” he said. “It’s one tool in the mix.” … Continue Reading