Council considers tax abatement proposal for businesses renovating historic buildings

Published on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:34
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

@brianjohnsonBP

SOUTHINGTON – The Southington Town Council is considering offering a tax abatement for businesses that renovate the town’s historic mill buildings.

Town Manager Mark Sciota said that Economic Development Director Lou Perillo put forth the proposed abatement at Tuesday’s meeting. It was crafted in a manner so as to assist with the “revitalization” of town buildings constructed prior to 1957.

“Most of these buildings are located along Water Street and Factory Square,” said Town Manager Mark Sciota. “If people put more than $200,000 into renovations, they will qualify for a five-year 100 percent tax abatement. If someone is paying $1,000 in taxes, they are still paying $1,000 in taxes. They won’t be charged more for the building’s value going up as a result of improvements during that period.”

Residents will have an opportunity to weigh-in on the proposed abatement during a public hearing at a future meeting.

Sciota also announced at Tuesday’s meeting that the state has approved that the “West Street corridor study” be held on an area of road running from Exit 31 in Southington north into Bristol.

“The study will examine access points, lights, traffic volume, road width and lane width to determine if there are improvements that can be made,” said Sciota. “We are hoping that this study will commence next spring. This is a state road and the contractor will be working with both Southington and Bristol as well as giving the results to the Department of Transportation.”

The council also voted to table a vote on getting solar panels on the new Calendar House Senior Center.

“We put out a request for proposal and got back proposals from five energy consultants,” said Sciota. “In our last Public Works meeting, there was some discussion about looking into whether it was prudent to have solar panels on the angled parts of the roof on the south-facing part of the building or just on the flat parts of the roof. A study is currently being conducted to compare the cost and efficiency of both plans. We currently know that were the solar panels to be placed on both areas of the roof, we would be paying 5 cents per kilowatt hour for a total of 240 solar panels.”

The town of Southington has pursued numerous opportunities to generate long-term energy savings via solar panels. There are currently solar panels on the roof at Kennedy, DePaolo, Plantsville and Hatton schools. Hatton also has solar panels nearby on the ground-level.

Sciota also reported that the Calendar House Building Committee has wrapped up their work on the new senior center. There are still small tweaks being done on the inside, but nothing major remains according to the town manager.

“The outside won’t be totally done until spring, when we make sure that the trees and grass took, but we have that covered under warranty,” he said.

The Calendar House Building Committee was formed in Dec. 2016 to replace the previous building with the new structure. Seniors moved into the new building in February of this year.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:34. Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:36.