No Longer is the Sky Falling in Enfield

Enfield RTC Vice-Chairman Kelly Hemmeler

Recently, the Enfield Town Council, under the leadership of Mayor Mike Ludwick, moved one step closer to the economic development in Thompsonville by working on the implementation of a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district in Thompsonville and the Enfield Square.

Mr. McMahon, a consultant to Enfield from CT Main Street Center, presented an overview of what a TIF district is, how it works and why Enfield is in a perfect position to implement one of its own.  McMahon has a positive history of getting TIF districts started in area towns (Windsor Locks, for example).

“There is great untapped economic and community development potential in our downtown and village districts.  It is our role to unleash that potential so that our Main Streets are thriving hearts of community life and economic opportunity,” said Mr. McMahon.

A TIF district is another tool to increase development in an area.  It is not a tax.  It is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment.  The funds are channeled into distressed, underdeveloped or underutilized parts of a town where development might not otherwise occur.  A TIF creates funding for public or private projects by borrowing against the future increase in these property-tax revenues.

A friend asked why Thompsonville is the focus.  It is where new development is already in process and while it may be the “beginning” of a TIF program in Enfield, it will not be the last.  Future TIFs will be implemented in other parts of Enfield, including Hazardville.

It has been said that every town is as strong as its weakest link.  And President Kennedy coined the phrase, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  Increasing economic activity brings jobs, families, money, increased property values and positive experiences.

I live in Thompsonville and walking downtown I see the historic architecture, an arts center and strolls around the pond not to come, but already here.  How exciting is it to have The Opera House Players revitalizing the 100 High Street and new restaurants opening.  Let’s continue to bring more art, music, restaurants and entertainment to Enfield.

Revitalization might not look like the old days.  But the possibilities are endless and this only happens with positive energy.  I thank the Town Council for having a positive attitude.  It is so refreshing.

Kelly Hemmeler
Previously published in the Enfield Press
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