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Tiverton To Face High Infrastructure Costs To Develop Industrial Park

Representatives from the state Economic Development Foundation warned the town council on Monday that costs to install roadways and utility infrastructure in the Tiverton industrial park could cost $9.2 million.

Initial investments in roadways and utility infrastructure at Tiverton’s 172-acre industrial park could cost $9.2 million, the Tiverton Town Council learned on Monday.

Representatives from the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island presented a seven-page preliminary analysis of the 66-lot subdivision prepared by DiPrete Engineering and that spelled out the initial costs of preparing the industrial park for development.

According to Marcel A. Valois, vice president of the nonprofit economic growth company, under the approved plan, 93 acres would be divided into lots averaging 1.4 acres. The marketing strategy would be to accommodate small businesses and combine lots to accommodate larger ones.

The consequence to dividing the parcel into so many lots is the extensive amounts of roadway and utility infrastructure required. Valois estimated the cost to construct the project as designed would be $9.27 million.

“Under this scenario and with these improvements under option 1, a full build-out probably wouldn’t see a return for 15 years - and that’s taking into consideration tax revenues,” said Valois. “It will probably take near seven years to recover costs so it makes a lot of sense to try to reduce the amount of public investment up.”

Valois recommended augmenting lot sizes and marketing to attract bigger businesses to Tiverton Business Park.

Under an alternative plan with lots ranging in size from 2 to 15 or more acres, EDFRI and DiPrete could to reduce development costs by 60 percent. Developers would be responsible for financing on-site infrastructure costs.

The alternative layout would allow for 102 saleable acres versus 93 with option 1. The town would lay a quarter mile of roadway rather than over a mile and utility infrastructure installation would drop from $3.5 million to $1.3 million. Total development costs could drop as low as $3.5 million.

“The numbers show that this is questionable, not a feasible project at these numbers,” said Valois. “The next thing we are looking at is whether there is a way to reduce those costs.” 

Valois urged the council to identify a vision for the industrial park – what type, size, and scope of industry would be attractive to the community. Council members wondered how the development of the industrial park off of Route 24 could also spur development of renewable energy projects in Tiverton.

“The initial question when we talked about wind energy months ago was can we do both,” said Brett N. Pelletier, councilman. “Can we have a viable industrial park alongside wind energy? I think we are moving closer to yes.”

Council President Jay. J. Lambert said the analysis of the development plans were useful to keeping the improvements at Tiverton Business Park on track.

“Just so we are clear, at this point we are just taking very small steps,” he said.

Joe Sousa. July 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Yea Doc, like the State is going to give us development money. We have millions invested in this park, It's time for the town to get a return
Joe Sousa. July 12, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Jim, first we sell tree lots to clear the property . Companies who sell fire wood would bid on the lots. The highest price gets to cut all the wood. We should clear the frontage about a quarter way back. Then work with local quarry companies to get the area cut down flat. The companies get the stone to sell for their effort. We get a flat piece of land to sell for development. during the excavation if there is extra dirt we can use it at the land fill for daily cover or grade fill. The public works, and our engineering co. will supervise the operation. We won't need to borrow millions to get this going.. if there is extra dirt we can use it at the land fill for daily cover or grade fill.
Joe Sousa. July 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Jim ,using the resources available is how America became a rich nation . Using them wisely is why we still have them . I hope to get the park sold, and producing Jobs for residence .We need local jobs so people don't have to drive to Mass. or northern RI. That intersection will become a positive economic advantage for the town . The traffic on 24 will provide the customer base so businesses can make it a successful endeavor . Bringing in more taxes to help off set the residential taxes. We also have to keep a prudent Town council ,and School com. This all starts in Nov. if people want it. IC FAT

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