By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Voters will be asked to approve a Tax Increment Finance agreement (TIF) for two companies at a Special Town Meeting (STM) Aug. 7. At the Board of Selectmen's July 17 meeting, Town Manager Jim Malloy explained to the board the rationale behind the request for the STM.
Both Danafilms, a Westborough-based company and MicroChem, which is currently based in Newton, have indicated they would like to expand in Westborough.
Under a TIF agreement, a company will receive a tax exemption on the incremental increase in the assessed value of real property over a period of five years. The only company thus far to be approved for a TIF in Westborough is eClinical Works; that measure was approved by the voters at the May 14 Annual Town Meeting.
After a TIF is approved by the voters, it must then go to the state's Economic Assistance Coordinating Council for approval. That council only meets quarterly – its next meeting is in September, Malloy said.
“In order to provide an incentive [for these two companies] these need to be approved soon,” he added. “If we want to react in a positive way, we need to act now.”
According to its website Danafilms is a “committed supplier of premium monolayer and coextruded barrier films for a wide variety of specialty applications and markets.” They are currently located at 5 Otis St. and have a plant in Kentucky as well.
MicroChem manufactures “special chemicals for microelectronics, advanced lithography, and specialty displays,” among other things, according to their website. They are looking to locate to a currently vacant building at 200 Flanders Rd.
The board approved the request for the Aug. 7 STM but lamented that communities that do not have a Town Meeting form of government, such as Marlborough, (which has a city council,) are able to act on matters such as this much faster. ?Another concern is that unlike an ATM, a STM must have a quorum of 50 voters in order to commence. Board members were hopeful that voters would take the time to come to the meetings to approve the two TIF agreements.
Leigh Emery, the board's chair said, “It's a good opportunity to keep jobs and two good companies in town.”
The Aug. 7 STM will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westborough High School auditorium, 90 West Main St.