- Dear Abby
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On Nov. 27 taxpayers of Preston will have the opportunity to vote on the second most important issue facing Preston in the last 20 years. The Preston Redevelopment Agency negotiated a financial package that includes a $4 million, 20-year 1.5 percent loan from the state with conditions for forgiveness from job creation to be combined with a $4 million match that would be obtained through bonding. If the loan and bonding are approved Preston will receive a $964,000 grant that does not have to be repaid.
Bottom line, this loan will cost no more than 1.4 mills at its highest point in 2019-2020. This amount represents the worst-case scenario, if no developer is found. The more likely scenario is a developer will be found and the Preston tax base will grow significantly with the finished construction of the Hilton Garden Hotel and the renegotiations of PILOT payment with the Preston incinerator
Two major concerns if the loan is not approved: unknown upkeep costs of the Preston Riverwalk property and the unfavorable signal to developers, and government officials, that Preston's citizens are not willing to invest in their own community.
We urge a yes vote for the $8 million loan the Preston Redevelopment Agency has asked the town to bond.