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Access road land assessed

Number crunching shows revenue potential

August 31, 2009

SOUTHBRIDGE — For many, but not all, town officials, the whole point of building an industrial park has been to lure businesses that bring money into Southbridge.

But nobody really had an idea of how much of a difference developing the land would have over leaving it open space until last week, when Assessor Wil Cournoyer and Donald Thornley did some number crunching.

According to their initial report, presented to a recent Planning and Development subcommittee "for discussion purposes only," parcels along the proposed access road that are now collectively paying just over $20,000 in taxes could be paying more than half a million dollars annually. Most of those parcels are either town owned or otherwise undevelopable because they have no road frontage, which the proposed access road would create.

Cournoyer said he based his calculations on "the most conservative take" on what the properties could contain, projecting a median building size of just 15,000 square feet and automatically discounting the available acreage "by 20 percent to account for topography, wetlands and other unanticipated factors."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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