Massachusetts Daily Voice websites to close
Walter Bird, Jr. of Worcester Mag reports yesterday about the closing of the Massachusetts sites owned by "The Daily Voice".
The 11 Massachusetts online news sites owned by The Daily Voice was "a satellite operation" that needed to be shut down so the company could "right the ship" for its flagship papers in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, Conn., according to Board of Directors Chairman Carll Tucker.
The founder of Main Street Connect, which became The Daily Voice in 2010, did not comment at length when contacted by phone Tuesday, one day after word leaked out that all Massachusetts Daily Voice sites were being closed down permanently. All Massachusetts staff members were laid off Monday and, according to a source at one of the sites, given two-day severances. The only other reference Tucker made to the closing was to say that none of the New York and Connecticut sites were being shut down.
Please visit Worcestermag.com for the full story:
P.S. I know that Westborough.com has been a bit dormant since DailyWestborough ==> DailyVoice and Patch came into town. Perhaps that may change! We're still here, and we're LOCALLY OWNED :)Add a comment
Public hearing Tuesday 5-Feb 7:30pm on zoning response to medical marijuana law
The Town of Westborough Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in the in the Forbes Municipal Building, 45 West Main Street, Westborough, Massachusetts, in the Planning Board’s Conference Room, Suite 23,
To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town of Westborough Zoning Bylaws Article 2, District Regulations, Section 2300, Use Regulation Schedule; Section 2620, Non-Residential Buildings in Non-Residential Districts; and by creating a new Section 5700, Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities and Marijuana Cultivation .
or take any action thereon.
The intent of this bylaw to address possible adverse public health and safety consequences related to the passage of Question 3 on the November 6, 2012 State Referendum. It is the purpose of this section titled “Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities and Marijuana Cultivation” to minimize any potential adverse impacts on property values, schools and other places where children frequent, residential neighborhoods and the quality of life in the Town. It is the intent of this bylaw to establish specific zoning standards and regulations for medical marijuana centers (treatment and dispensing facilities), medical marijuana infused products, medical marijuana paraphernalia, manufacturers, and medical marijuana growing and cultivation operations either related to Medical Marijuana Treatment Facilities and Dispensaries or the personal cultivation by qualified patients or cultivation by personal caregivers on the behalf of qualified patients or other users;
It also intends to regulate the siting, design, placement, safety, monitoring, modification, and removal of Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities; and Marijuana Cultivation;
A copy of the entire proposed zoning amendment is on file with and can be viewed at the offices of the Westborough Planning Board and Westborough Town Clerk during their business hours. Any person interested or wishing to be heard on the proposed amendment should attend the public hearing indicated above.
WESTBOROUGH PLANNING BOARD
Lester Hensley, Chairman
Trevor Beauregard, Vice-Chairman
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Westborough Community Band Concert - Sunday Aug 5, 2012
Last performance of the 2012 summer season! Join us Aug 5th to hear our very own Westborough Community Band, in the bandstand at Bay State Green.
In their fourth year under the leadership of Matthew Lefebvre, they will play from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Rain location is the Forbes Municipal Building (where they did GREAT the week before!)
Over 60 musicians from various towns will play patriotic music, pop, American standards and more during the concert, often including a piece with a featured vocalist. Musicians range from high school to retired professional musicians who enjoy playing and performing. The band is thankful to the Westborough Cultural Council for their continued support through grants each year. For questions about the band, please contact Kathy Cincotta at firstname.lastname@example.org.Add a comment
Please come to special town meeting Tuesday 7-Aug-2012
[An open letter received from Lester Hensley, Chair of our Westborough Economic Development Committee. -- webmaster]
Dear Westborough Residents --
On Tuesday, August 7th, there will be a Special Town Meeting at 7pm at the WHS Auditorium. On the warrant will be just two Articles -- so the meeting should be short. The Articles being put before the voters are part of a broader economic development and job retention strategy for the Town of Westborough. Summer is a cherished time, but 50 people are required for a quorum at this meeting. If you are in town next week, I hope you will consider coming to town meeting to learn more about the the articles and cast your vote.
Below is some optional background and brief response to some of the frequently asked questions about the articles on the warrant.
Westborough's Economic Development Committee (EDC) has been working since 2008 toward a goal of moderating our residential taxes by shoring up and expanding our commercial tax base. We do this by identifying existing businesses in Westborough that might be looking to expand or to leave, and encouraging them to stay and to grow right here in town. We also do this by proactively engaging new businesses who are looking at space in our area and convincing them that there is no better choice than Westborough.
One of the tools we have for retaining and attracting business and jobs is Tax Increment Financing or a "TIF". In short, in return for a company's commitment to stay and grow and pay taxes here in Westborough over a given period of years, we can offer a modest (and declining) adjustment to the taxes on their incremental growth. Even more important to the company, by being granted a TIF at the local level, they then qualify for state incentives to finance their growth and keep jobs right here in Massachusetts. Two companies will be committing to Westborough through a 15 years TIF agreement at this special town meeting.
Q. Why a Special Town Meeting now, in the middle of summer, to act on this?
A. Time is of the essence when competing to retain or gain businesses in Westborough. Neighboring towns with City Councils can approve TIFs at regularly scheduled meetings. We need a quorum of 50 at a Special Town Meeting to approve a TIF. The timing of this meeting would allow these two companies to qualify for a state program this Fall.
Q: Why 15 years? and how much of a tax incentive would we be giving?
A. The basic tax revenues from the current value of these businesses would remain the same. The tax incentive Westborough is offering starts at 50% of only the added value of expansion. So with these agreements we'd be collecting new revenues immediately. The incentive declines by 10% per year and then remains at 10% from years 6-15. The 15 year timeframe keeps the business qualified for State incentives on future expansion and gives them incentive to grow again in Westboorugh instead of looking elsewhere.
Q. What accountability does the business have to Westborough?
A. These agreements include job creation targets as the company grows. If the company does not meet its job creation goals, then the incentive can be revoked by the Town and we have the right to recover what the company gained through tax savings.
For more information on the specifics of the agreements, you can come and hear our presentation at Town Meeting, or you can read about them on the Town Manager's blog at this link.
Thanks so much for your consideration, and hope to see you at Town Meeting on Tuesday!
Chair, Westborough Economic Development Committee
Town Manager explanation of special Summer 2012 town meeting
[Press release submitted by Town Manager Jim Malloy -- webmaster]
The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a Special Town Meeting for consideration of granting two Tax Increment Financing Agreements (TIF) to two companies. These are the only two items that will appear on the Town Meeting warrant. The Town wants to make sure that accurate information is being provided regarding the reason for setting a Special Town Meeting and what the agreements entail.
The reason the Town Meeting is scheduled on Aug. 7, 2012 (at 7 p.m. at the High School) is that it provides the time necessary to get on the agenda for the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) agenda for September. The EACC reviews each TIF and approves of the TIF and the State’s Investment Tax Credit at their meetings. If the Town waited until the October Fall Town Meeting, the next EACC meeting would either be at the end of December or early January which would put any incentive off for six months. In order to compete with other states and other communities in MA, especially cities that can grant TIF approvals every other week when their city council meets, the Town scheduled the Special Town Meeting at the earliest date possible.
The most important part of these types of TIF agreements is for taxpayers to understand that the “tax break” that is being offered is only on the increased or incremental value from the company’s investment in their property and that the Town will collect more tax revenues after the TIF than before. For example, if a company buys a building that has a current base value of $5,000,000 and expands the business and after the expansion the property is valued at $7,500,000 the TIF is applied to the difference (or $2,500,000). There is never any break on the base value, so the Town always collects at least the amount it was collecting before the TIF.
In this case, both TIFs are very similar and offer a 15 year incentive on any increase in property value that reduces the taxes on that increased property value by the following percentages:
Year 1 50% (on the incremental increase in value)
Year 2 40%
Year 3 30%
Year 4 20%
Year 5 10%
Years 6 – 15 continue the 10% incentive.
Of the two companies that the Town has offered a TIF, the following is a breakdown of the benefits to the company, expected job growth and benefits to the Town:
The first company is Danafilms, which is presently located at 5 Otis St. and manufactures plastic and plastic sheeting. They are looking to expand their line and add an agricultural plastic sheeting product used in baling hay. The parent company owns the business here in Westborough and another plant in Kentucky and is trying to make a decision on where to locate this new line. The company is planning on adding 20 jobs to the existing 62 jobs here in Westborough. The estimated tax benefit to the company under the TIF is between $13,500 and $34,500 over the 15 year life of the TIF (we use a range because it’s difficult to determine how much of their investment will be reflected in increased assessed value for tax purposes). The additional taxes the Town is estimated to collect should the company expand in Westborough is between $77,226 and $193,066. The State Investment Tax Credit is estimated to be approximately $300,000.
The second company is MicroChem, which is presently located in Newton, MA and manufactures specialty chemicals for the electronics industry. They have outgrown their current location and do not have the ability to expand. They are looking to relocate in Massachusetts and are looking at purchasing the property at 200 Flanders Road in an industrial area. The company currently employs 47 people in Newton and would add another 23 jobs if they relocate to Westborough for a total of 70 new jobs in Westborough. The estimated tax benefit to the company under the TIF is between $232,000 and $264,000 over the 15 year life of the TIF. The additional taxes the Town is estimated to collect if the company relocates to Westborough is between $1,329,103 and $1,510,000. The State Investment Tax Credit is estimated to be approximately $500,000.
Estimated tax break
# of jobs retained
# new jobs
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In summary, the two companies would create 90 new jobs and retain 62 existing jobs, generate over $1.5 million in estimated new taxes over the next 15 years in exchange for providing an incentive valued at approximately $272,000 during the same 15 year period and a state investment tax credit (does not involve the Town) of $760,000. If at any time, either company did not meet their employment goals, at the Town’s discretion, the tax incentive could be terminated.
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