REDDING - Residents overwhelmingly approved a Georgetown Land Development tax plan Tuesday night that will further development of the old Gilbert & Bennett wire mill site.

At a special town meeting, residents voted 101-31 to enter an agreement with the state and GLD that will allow the development company to receive $3.5 million from the Connecticut Development Authority to build roads at the site.

Under the plan, Redding will pay incremental increases in property taxes from the site as commercial property is developed there to the state until the state loan is paid back. The town will continue getting the $102,000 in tax revenue it now receives from GLD commercial property. And once the loan is repaid, the town is projected to receive and keep some $5.2 million in taxes from the site.

The plan is called tax increment financing. The benefit for the town is an "improvement in quality of life and eventual increased tax revenues," First Selectman Natalie Ketcham said.

"There was a standing-room-only crowd at the town meeting Tuesday," Ketcham said, "and the agreement was overwhelmingly approved. I am very proud that the residents of Redding stepped up to the plate and approved investing tax dollars into the project at this time. It's very important that this project begins construction."

GLD is developing the old wire mill site into a village center, with housing, commercial space and a train station.

"We are pleased with the result of the town meeting last night," said Steve Soler , president of GLD. "This positive vote allows us to apply to the Connecticut Development Authority for the tax increment financing."

The CDA loan will be specifically for brownfield remediation where roads will be built. North Main Street in Georgetown qualifies for remediation under Connecticut Department of Environmental requirements, Soler said.

Funds from the tax increment financing will be specifically used for remediation of North Main Street at the wire mill site.

Contact Susan Tuz


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