MIDDLETON — The developer of a planned sports facility at Essex Technical High School has agreed to make an annual “in lieu of taxes” payment to the town of Middleton, according to Assistant Town Administrator Ryan Ferrara.
Ferrara said the amount has yet to be determined, but one estimate by town officials put the figure at $50,000 to $60,000 per year.
“When the proposal was brought to the town, we made it clear we would require (a payment) as a condition of support,” Ferrara said.
Essex Sports Center LLC is planning to build an $11 million sports facility in Middleton on the campus of Essex Technical High School. The complex would include two ice rinks, an indoor turf field, and an athlete training center.
The land is owned by the state, but Ferrara said the town requested a payment from the developer to compensate for the increased demand on town services, such as police and fire responses and a connection to the town water system.
Ferrara said the payment will be based on the assessed value of the building, which has yet to be determined. Town officials estimated the property taxes at $50,000 to $60,000, according to minutes of a Board of Selectmen meeting.
Ferrara said the developer has a similar arrangement in Bedford where it built a sports complex partly on Massport land.
Brian DeVellis of Essex Sports Center could not be reached for comment.
Local mayors have raised concerns about the Essex Tech sports complex project, which gives a private developer the use of state land. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has called for the formation of a working group that would be involved in the lease negotiations between the state and the developer.
Driscoll said she wants to get the best deal for the local communities who help fund the regional school.
PAUL LEIGHTON | The Salem News