Chester is seeking village center designationBy Christian Avard
Staff Writer | April 29,2013CHESTER — The town of Chester is promoting economic development through tax credits.
Town officials, business owners and local residents attended a presentation Tuesday on downtown village and tax credit programs. By obtaining a state village center designation, commercial buildings within a given area can qualify for tax credits.
“The state program is about encouraging investment in downtowns and village centers,” said Caitlyn Corkins, coordinator of the downtown and village tax credit program. “The goal is to prevent demolition of historic buildings and encourage reinvestment. Vermont ranks near the top in the number of tax credit projects.”
The town of Chester is in the process of obtaining a village center designation from the state. By doing so, it will enhance the town’s historic character and increase the town’s tax base, according to town officials.
“You have to clean up and maintain what you have and it may bring more people to these places, which indirectly increases their value and improves economic development,” said Select Board Chairman John DeBenedetti.
Town officials are now determining what the boundaries will be. DeBenedetti said it could be as far north as Town Hall, as far south as Grafton Road, as far west as Lovers Lane and as far east as the post office.
Corkins said the town of Chester is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is pre-qualified for federal tax credits. What differentiates the federal from the state program is eligibility requirements.
According to Corkins, the federal program is open to commercial buildings and private homes, whereas the state program applies to commercial buildings and rental properties. Federal guidelines for renovation projects are more flexible, while buildings in state-designated village centers are limited to general rehabilitation, code compliance, exterior improvements and other regulations.
Mount Holly, Ludlow, Weston, Plymouth and Cavendish have state-designated village centers. Chester is one of the only remaining towns in southern Windsor County without a village center designation.
Lynne Reed is the co-owner of Misty Valley Books located on the green in Chester. She said several historical homes are in need of renovations.
She agreed with DeBenedetti that the town needs a village center designation and tax credits can only benefit local businesses.
“I think it would be really great. It really would encourage people to buy buildings and rehabilitate them,” Reed said.
The Select Board will discuss the village center designation at an upcoming meeting on a date to be determined.
@rutlandherald.comMORE IN Southern VermontIn honor of the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War, Brattleboro veterans are putting... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.