Naples signs one bond for two projects

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES — Being approved for a loan to do a household project can be a huge sense of relief.

Knowing that some expenses can be recouped later is even better.

Naples’ town manager is smiling because Tax Increment Finance (TIF) accounts will help pay off portions of town-approved projects.

The Naples Board of Selectmen signed one bond for two projects — the transportation department’s construction of a fixed bridge and revamped causeway, and the installation of 3,000 feet of underground fire-suppression pipes along Route 302, Chairman Dana Watson said during Monday’s meeting.

People’s United Bank provided the town with one 10-year loan for both projects.

“We wrapped fire suppression in 10-year bond with the causeway. The bank wouldn’t go with 20 years” on the bond repayment, according to Town Manager Derik Goodine.

“We can afford it. I’ve already laid out payment schedules,” Goodine told board members.

“It turned out to be less money because of interest paid. One bond takes care of both projects,” he said.

The cost of the fire suppression project is $333,000. It entails installing 3,000 feet of underground fire suppression lines northeast from the bridge, and on the Brandy Pond side.

Meanwhile, the town’s financial obligation for the bridge and causeway construction will be $405,000. The entire project is estimated to cost $9 million, but the state will foot most of the bill.

The Causeway Renovation Committee has been planning fundraisers to offset the taxpayers’ portion of construction expenses.

Goodine said the projects fit the requirements for tapping into TIF funding.

“The group’s fundraising will reduce payments rather than using TIF funds,” he said.

“As part of original document, money was set aside for water lines, fire suppression, and economic development in two TIF zones — from Songo School Road to the recreation fields on Route 11, and downtown zone that starts on (Route) 35 and goes to the fire station,” Goodine said.

A third project bond for $175,000 will pay to put the museum on a new foundation and housing the visitors’ center there, Goodine said.

Currently, there is another $65,000 remaining in a town account for that town-promoting project.

In the near future, the board will put out to bid the job to put foundation under the existing building so that renovation can be wrapped up before tourist season — and possibly as soon as Memorial Day weekend.

The town will access TIF funds for this Historical Society project, according to Goodine.

“We amended our tax increment financing to include the museum building, and to encompass that project under TIF. We decided to put the information center in there to encourage people to get brochures on what to do, and then take tours of the museum,” he said.

“I thought it was a natural blend,” he said.

All three bonds, which the town has taken out through People’s United Bank, were approved at the Naples annual town meeting last year, Goodine said.

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