Voters in Windsor Locks will decide on Wednesday whether to approve a proposed tax deal for land where a developer plans to build a state-of-the-art sports campus.
Drive around town and you can’t miss the signs staking out support and opposition to what’s being called the All Sports Village.
“It’s just a great location,” Andy Borgia of JABS Sports Management, said.
Borgia explained to us his vision for farming land off Old County Road, right off Route 20 and near Interstate 91.
He wants to build a sports campus that would include outdoor fields, an indoor arena and dorms to house teams visiting from all across the country for events here.
“They estimated in year one it would generate $15 million in economic impact to the community and by year five, $27 million. So the economic impact is great,” Borgia said.
Some neighbors are calling a foul.
They worry how the development would affect the environment, nearby home values and their quality of life.
“Very concerned. Concerned about the traffic on Old Country Road. I’m concerned about the noise,” Valerie Mercey of Windsor Locks, said.
Supporters think it will be a boost.
It could create hundreds of jobs and the developer has promised to slew of benefits to the town including replacing the track at Windsor Locks High School.
“I love stuff that is going to enhance this town. And to me that’s going to be a big enhancement,” Tina Brough of Windsor Locks, said.
But to make the project work, the town says a special tax district needs to be created for the area.
It allows some of the taxes, usually up to 90%, to be rebated.
And that plan is up for debate now.
“I just want what’s best for the town and I think over 30 years this is not going to be best for the town,” Bob Tarascio of Windsor Locks, said.
“Most companies that come into towns and local areas they all look for tax incentives,” Borgia said.
It was actually opponents of the project who petitioned for the tax district idea to go to referendum on Wednesday.
Even if it’s given the OK, the project still has to go through several town reviews before it could go ahead.