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February 14, 2012 | last updated February 14, 2012 10:24 am

Hallowell gives final OK to pipeline TIF

Hallowell city officials have given their final approval to a tax increment financing agreement for a 56-mile natural gas pipeline proposed by Kennebec Valley Gas Co.

The city council voted 5-2 Monday for the TIF, which would reimburse the company about $800,000 in property taxes over 15 years, according to the Kennebec Journal. The city previously gave the agreement preliminary support. The two councilors who opposed the TIF said it's still unclear where the pipeline will go and questioned whether the city should help fund the project. The TIF would save Hallowell about $1.3 million in county taxes, local education funding and state revenue sharing.

If approved, the pipeline would run through 12 central Maine communities. The Maine Public Utilities Commission has given the plan initial approval, but Kennebec Valley Gas needs TIFs from all communities to make the project economically feasible. So far, the company has secured agreements in Augusta, Fairfield, Gardiner and Oakland, and Waterville has given preliminary support. Madison and Farmingdale have voted against TIFs, and the company still needs to organize a vote in Richmond. Sidney residents are scheduled to vote on Wednesday on a TIF in that community.

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