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Dracut Voters To Decide On 37 Warrant Articles At Special Town Meeting

Nov 02, 2017 03:48AM ● By Bill Gilman
Often times, Fall Special Town Meetings include a handful of spending items, some fiscal year cleanup and one or two articles brought by citizens' petition dealing with pet projects.
But not always.
On Monday, Nov. 6, Dracut voters will gather at Dracut High School at 7:30 p.m. to address 37 articles on the fall Special Town Meeting warrant. Many of them will have a major impact on the town for years to come.

(Editor's note: The complete warrant is attached to this story as a printable PDF file above.)

Among the articles are four (16, 17,18,19) that request approval for the town to enter into Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) agreements with corporations planning to build or grow in Dracut. While terms of each TIF are individually negotiated, the framework is usually the same -- A business is granted a discount on its property taxes for a period of time, as an incentive to locate their business in a given community and create jobs. Often, certain benchmarks must be reached (such as job creation goals) in order for the business to reap the full benefit of the TIF.
In this case, Dracut is looking to enter into TIF agreements with Tre Tori LLC/Equipment East LLC, 101 Development Group LLS, Circle Health/Lowell General Hospital, and Giving Tree Senior Living LLC.
Articles 20 and 21 will deal with the purchase of property needed for the construction of a new Fire Station, needed to replace the current Collinsville Station.
Article 22 asks voters to approve a moratorium on businesses selling recreational marijuana in Dracut.
Article 26 will ask to spend $400,000 in CPA funds to purchase and develop certain properties on Hildreth Avenue for recreation use. CPA funds and projects are also the subject of articles 27 and 28. It was the function of the CPC and the use of CPA funds that was the subject of a blow up at the Annual Town Meeting last spring.
Article 37 would bring Dracut into the 21st century by making the town website the official notification source for all public meetings and hearings.
Several spending items relate to the Police Department. Funds are being requested for new police vehicles, security cameras in Police Headquarters and funds to demolish and redevelop the old police station on Lakeview Avenue.

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