Cumberland council clears path for business from South Portland

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday unanimously approved a credit enhancement agreement with a South Portland business that plans to move to Route 1 next year and bring along at least 40 jobs.

The company, Exactitude,  also has facilities in Bangor. It plans to move its South Portland operations to Cumberland and maintain an office in Bangor.

The company manufactures, installs and distributes architectural hardware, doors, frames and custom millwork. It employs about 65 people and hopes the new facility will create a need for more, according to Economic Development Director Alyssa Daniels.

Exactitude’s building will measure between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet and be the first occupied property at Cumberland Foreside Village, a development that sits on Route 1 and borders the Falmouth town line.

“We certainly appreciate this opportunity,” said Michael Bovine, a principal with Exactitude. “We think that the location is a fine fit for our business.”

The facility will include office space, a retail area for contractors, a manufacturing area and storage space.

Similar credit enhancement agreements have previously been established with two other Route 1 businesses, Seafax and Norton Insurance & Financial Services.

The agreement will refund half of Exactitude’s annual property taxes, up to a cumulative amount of $500,000 over two decades. Cumberland Foreside Village is in the town’s third tax increment financing district, Town Manager Bill Shane explained.

He noted that as a municipality’s value increases from new development, it loses some of its state aid to education money. But with TIF districts, municipalities can shelter that valuation and maintain its level of state aid to education, as long as communities use that money for economic development purposes.

Tax revenue from Cumberland’s TIF districts are paying bonds for work on Range and Skillins roads, as well as three water main projects and the widening of Route 100. The town currently has $58.6 million of taxable TIF district properties that produce $853,000 each year, according to Shane.

He said the town’s TIF subcommittee believes Exactitude’s development will be a catalyst for further commercial growth in the area.

Bovine said he hopes to break ground in September or October and have the facility operating next year. The project is expected to go before the Planning Board later this winter for site plan review.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.