MIDDLEBURY – The Economic Development Commission, meeting on Monday, September 26, unanimously agreed to recommend a tax abatement application related to a new 16,000 square foot medical building at 1625 Straits Tpke.
Robert LaFlamme, owner of Middlebury Edge LLC, estimated the property’s assessed value would increase by more than $3 million after investing $400,000 in landscaping and $2.1 million in the building.
Future tenants would provide a variety of medical services in addition to other businesses.
President Terrence McAuliffe said construction has already begun on the empty lot.
If approved by both the Board of Selectmen and residents at a subsequent town meeting, the tax abatement at the $3 million level would provide the homeowner with a 35% abatement in the first year, decreasing by 5 % over the next five years. at 15 percent.
The tax assessor would provide the final assessments.
“It’s becoming a big corner of Middlebury,” Mr McAuliffe said of the congregation of medical tenants in that area.
Later in the meeting, the commission revisited its business survey, comparing the results to a survey conducted in 2017.
Mr. McAuliffe noted that the original survey was distributed by mail; the 2022 survey was shared by post and email.
Of the 300 surveys sent in 2017, there were 54 responses or 18% return. Of the 467 surveys sent in 2022, 57 were returned with feedback for a 12% return.
Mr. McAuliffe said he was a little disappointed that the return was not higher.
Commissioners Armando Paolino and Mark Petrucci will work with Mr. McAuliffe to analyze feedback, including feedback to present an action plan at the next meeting of the Economic Development Commission.
The objective will be to create and present a report to the Selection Boards and the Finance, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Water Pollution Control Authority, as well as to the public.
Comments that came out of the 2017 survey included sprucing up specific areas and addressing regulations, such as those relating to grease traps.
Mr McAuliffe said he would like to present at the WPCA to see how the expense of a trap could be handled to encourage more restaurants to choose Middlebury.
Feedback from the 2022 survey indicated that some people believe Middlebury’s regulations are not business-friendly.
Commissioners briefly discussed the influence of state laws and what the city can actually regulate.
The results of the survey will be publicly available.
Before the meeting adjourned, Mr. McAuliffe said there probably wouldn’t be enough funding for a promotional video as originally conceptualized.
However, there may be enough to illustrate the orientation, demographics, town attributes and similar data for Middlebury which can be used to entice developers and businesses to locate in the town.