By Mike Williscraft
Incentive packages to drive commercial/industrial growth in the Town of Lincoln are a key aspect to a report given to the Town’s General Business and Finance Committee.
The Industrial Lands and
Rural Areas community improvement plan draft report was reviewed by the committee.
The purpose of the study is to outline ways investment from private sector can be stimulated in industrial lands. The goal is to see undeveloped land utilized while protecting the current base and create new, local jobs.
In the rural areas, the goal would be to develop “value added” agricultural uses while assisting viable farm operations, creating new jobs, attracting tourists through wineries as well as bed & breakfasts and addressing other rural priorities.
“The main goal behind the Industrial CIP is ultimately to stimulate private sector investment in industrial designated lands. This helps address the reliance on the residential property taxpayer and put more onto the industrial tax base, which is the trend we want to see more of,” said Coun. Tony Brunet.
And to do that, council is considering some significant incentive packages, including:
• Industrial Development Charge Reduction Grant
• Industrial Building Permit Fees Grant
• Industrial Tax Increment
Financing Grant (TIFG)
“We look forward to staff and the consultant’s final report,” added Brunet.
With the rural component, Brunet said council has a bit more of a balancing act on its hands.
“From that perspective, it’s about supporting and diversifying the rural economy here in Lincoln. We are a mix of rural, some urban and development centers and industrial make up,” said Brunet.
“A rural CIP is about outcomes that lead and help in attracting visitors to bed and breakfasts, wineries and it also incentivizes development of value added agricultural lands, and assists viability of farm operations.”
Coun. Paul MacPherson, chair of the Planning Committee, said the whole process is about building the commercial sector and “attracting value-added agricultural investments in Lincoln such as assistance for new craft beverage manufacturers.”
“We see these incentives as a strong effort in attracting private sector investment to Lincoln. We’re not talking chump change here. We know investors have options on where to locate. The proposed Industrial Lands and Rural Areas Community Improvement Plan (CIP) will no doubt assist in making Lincoln a serious contender.