“If you do decide to build this, to front end this, you will get your money back,” Thibeault said.
Paying for Pettingill is a big unknown. If grant funding comes through that could give the project a big boost. The total cost to get the project done could top $12 million.
Town planner Cynthia May said getting the grant money was a “long shot.” Another attempt to secure funding in an earlier round was not successful.
“We don’t currently have any match,” she said, “but it’s worth a try.”
Hart said the project is further along than the previous funding attempt.
“The access road was not built then, and we were not as ready to proceed with sewer improvements then as we are now,” he said. “We know now there is real demand for this industrial area if we can collectively find a way to finance the connector.”
Thibeault said funding help could also come through development impact fees, a tax increment financing plan, or through public and private partnerships.
Coming up with the money is the biggest hurdle.
“This project could happen quickly if funding were there,” Kathy Wagner said. “We have to come up with the money ourselves if we believe in the project.”
Hart said having Pettingill materialize would do the town good.
“If funded, this will be a great step toward much-needed job opportunities for our region,” he said.
The town expects to hear about the potential for grant money this fall, May said.
“At this point, we just wait,” she said.
If all goes according to plan, construction on the Pettingill Road project could begin as early as next spring.