New Balance, an athletic shoe manufacturer in Norridgewock, is planning to hire another 40 workers by the end of March, and said it could add more employees in the future if a natural gas pipeline is built. Voters last night approved a tax increment financing agreement for Kennebec Valley Gas Co.
A representative of the Boston-based company told residents Monday night that a natural gas pipeline would help it cut energy costs at its Norridgewock facility, allowing it to hire more workers, according to the Morning Sentinel. John Campbell, director of corporate services, said natural gas would allow the facility to combine its energy systems, saving as much as 60% in energy costs. According to the New Balance website, the Norridgewock facility has nearly 400 employees.
About 150 people turned out Monday night to vote for the TIF for Kennebec Valley Gas, which has proposed a 56-mile pipeline through central Maine from Richmond to Madison. The TIF returns 80% of new property taxes to the company during the first 10 years and 60% for another five years after that. The town can use its percentage of property taxes for economic development. Kennebec Valley Gas is seeking TIFs from each of the 12 municipalities along the route of its pipeline.