Connecticut Green Bonds Recipient Announced: Georgetown Special Taxing District

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In Connecticut, the Georgetown Special Taxing District received the special tax-exempt bond designation from the U. S. Treasury Department allowing the District to issue more than $72 million in qualified green building and sustainable design project bonds.

The Georgetown Special Taxing District, which will oversee redevelopment of the former Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill, announced today that it had received designation as a qualified green building and sustainable design project from the US Treasury Department. The Georgetown Special Taxing District is among the first in country to receive the designation, which was called for as part of the American Jobs Creation Act. The Treasury Secretary, after consulting with the EPA Administrator, designated qualified green building and sustainable design projects that met strict criteria, including developing LEED certified buildings and providing permanent employment for at least 1,500 people.

By Special Act No. 05-14, the Connecticut General Assembly created the Georgetown Special Taxing District. Governor M. Jodi Rell signed the Act into Law in July of 2005. The District was formally created in September of 2005.

The bonds will provide tax-exempt financing for the Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill redevelopment, which can be used to purchase, construct, or integrate renewable energy and sustainable design features of the project; comply with LEED certification standards; or remediate the site. Applicants had to demonstrate the energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable design features of their projects.

This designation recognizes the importance of renewable clean-energy technologies and green building practices; and supports development that creates jobs while protecting the environment. Stephen Soler, President of the Georgetown Special Taxing District said, “I’m particularly proud of this Green Bonds designation because it confirms our commitment to the community and the environment and gives us the resources we need to implement the best available green technology.”

Soler also said the nature of the application and designation required a team effort from offices throughout Connecticut including the Town of Redding, The State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, the Governor’s office and the offices of Senators Dodd and Lieberman and Congressman Shays as well as many others.

The Georgetown Land Development Company (GLDC), a socially conscious real estate development firm, based in Georgetown, Connecticut, owns the Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill site. As owners of the 55 +/- acre site, GLDC believes that it is time for a new vision of Georgetown guided by the principles of sustainable, “green” development.

The village of Georgetown will include a pedestrian-friendly environment that collects traffic rather than creating it, featuring a village center, open public spaces and easy access to public transportation; a return of the Georgetown Train Station, with access to New York City; a diverse community with single family houses, town houses, affordable senior housing, artist-style lofts and affordable artist work/live lofts; a renovation of historically significant structures; a hydroelectric dam and power plant using the existing infrastructure for power; functional green technology, including photovoltaics and green roofs.

In addition, Georgetown will offer restaurants that accommodate and are appropriate to the community; health facility that features a 50-meter state-of-the-art pool; a multi-purpose performing arts center, in acknowledgement of the active local arts community; strategically placed public safety facility; a wide assortment of quality retailers, selected to reflect the needs of local residents and complement the character of the village.

“In short,” says Soler, “it’s the art of the possible.” Groundbreaking is set for spring 2006 with an estimated completion date in 2009.

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