We know that creating more economic opportunities in our community will help residents make ends meet, so we have worked to make Amesbury a more business-friendly City to bring growth and investment while honoring our residents’ quality of life and Amesbury’s unique character, open space, and charm.
What have we accomplished?
Passed a tax incentive designed to keep Munters, our largest employer, in Amesbury. This was a joint effort with the City Council to keep the jobs they have now and the ones they will create through a relocation and expansion in our community while adding substantially to our tax base.
Authorized the surplus over 10 acres of underdeveloped city-owned parcels to greenlight the creation of more housing and commercial development to expand our tax base.
Expanding cable options after awarding a cable license to Breezeline who is currently building out infrastructure to provide residents and businesses with more options to support growth and development.
Launched OpenGov, a publicly accessible online permitting process that establishes a linear approval process for projects of all sizes making our permitting process more accommodating and business friendly.
Leveraging economic development strategies like the Smart Growth (40R) development zoning for the East End Smart Growth Overlay District that provide better development options for the neighborhood with the benefit of financial incentives to the City, impacting our bottom line.
Waived cannabis business impact fees proactively protecting the City and our finances from Cannabis Control Commission regulation changes and the litigation other communities are experiencing. Thus, supporting our cannabis businesses and enabling them to make generous charitable contributions to local organizations.
Secured various state and local grant funds to initiate public art and placemaking projects as a tool for economic development providing social connection and generating foot traffic that our small businesses need.
Invested in long term planning for our downtown businesses with a federal grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the ‘Reimagining a Resilient Downtown Amesbury Project’. This project assessed our ability to adapt to economic, social, and environmental challenges and shocks.
Worked collaboratively with our businesses and stakeholders to create the Business Economic Adjustment Team (BEAT) at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.. The BEAT supported our business community, overseeing expedited outdoor dining permitting, newsletters, training and professional development, advocacy, e-commerce opportunities and overall pandemic response.
Secured our AA bond rating with S&P Global Ratings in the midst of the pandemic and a volatile market, which was reaffirmed in 2021.
The City needs to expand its tax base. To do so we will continue to leverage economic development tools like the 40R we’re using for the East End Smart Growth Overlay District and focus on reuse and infill development. You’ll see buildings start to change shape and size to better fit the neighborhood and boost property values.
Munters is expecting to be fully operational in late 2024. They will be adding 70 new jobs over 3 years to the ~300 they currently have. One third of those are current Amesbury residents. The City is expecting tax revenue to increase by $141,000 in just the first two years, $5M over the life of their TIF agreement. After which, taxes on the improved property will continue to contribute significant revenue to the City.
Our team is engaging in revenue forecasting in a way that hasn’t been done before. With millions of dollars in approved projects and anticipated new growth and the simultaneous exponential growth in inflation and expenses we are watching things closely and preparing for budgets that get more challenging every year.
The city property that has been authorized for surplus needs to be processed through the Disposition Committee and returned to the tax rolls after sitting vacant for decades.
We are constantly working to improve the permitting and approval process to be easily understood and friendly to applicants while protecting our taxpayers. This work will continue.