SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 30, 2013

Letter: Thankful for council's consideration of Beverly's TIF

To the editor:

On Jan. 22, the Beverly City Council approved the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing district on Rantoul Street in downtown Beverly. On behalf of the board of directors, we at Beverly Main Streets congratulate both the council and Mayor Bill Scanlon for taking this bold step. The TIF gives the city another tool to help make downtown Beverly the location of choice for quality retailers and businesses that can serve the needs of residents, commuters and visitors and which can help continue the revitalization momentum we are seeing in the district.

When we first brought the idea of the TIF to city officials for consideration, we expected that its passage would require careful attention and thoughtful discussion, with an open mind to all points of view. Scanlon and every councilor gave it their full attention over a period of months and listened closely to comments from constituents and experts alike.

We expected that it would be a complex issue, given that only two other communities have taken advantage of this state program. Scanlon and every councilor took the time to study the details and ask insightful questions, which led to productive dialogue and new options to consider.

We expected that it would take time, and we appreciate that Scanlon and every councilor stayed with it through committees and hearings and procedural challenges. Planning Director Tina Cassidy and Solicitor Roy Gelineau responded with speed and professionalism to every request for clarification or more information.

Our task force members, Joyce Moore, Andy Goldberg, Bill Howard, Miranda Gooding, Gin Wallace and John Fuller, did months of research before recommending the TIF. Tom Miller of Kavanagh Advisory Group shepherded us through the intricacies of the state’s requirements. We thank each of them for their time and expertise and for supporting the process through to its conclusion.

In the end, we have a program that will serve as an incentive to attract high-quality residential development near the train station, and this in turn will bring the residential influx we need to sustain new businesses downtown. We are excited to share the news and affirm to the business community that Beverly is serious about revitalization.

Mary Grant

Alan Temkin

Co-presidents,

Beverly Main Streets

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