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Lakeville approves 13-year TIF for Sysco

LAKEVILLE, Mass. (June 26, 2010)—Lakeville voters approved a 13-year tax-increment financing package for Sysco in June, helping keep alive the food distributor's interest in moving to the town. Sysco has expressed interest in moving its Norton location to the former Lakeville Hospital site.

The company has plans to build a 650,000 square-foot distribution center on Route 105 in Lakeville, not far from the border with Middleboro. Sysco has said it will move 830 employees from its Norton site to the new Lakeville location and create 75 new jobs.

At a June 7 Town Meeting, voters approved the TIF that will give Sysco an 80 percent tax break in the first year and progressively smaller tax breaks for the next 12 years. Within the TIF agreement, the company is required to register all of its vehicles within the town, a move that would bring the town about $130,000 in excise taxes.

At an informational meeting prior to the vote, Sysco officials stressed the need for the TIF, citing demolition and clean-up costs at the abandoned site.

Sysco President Fred Cassinelli noted that the estimate for cleaning up the property had initially been quoted around $4.5 million, however that estimate has already risen, the Middleboro Gazette reported.

For the plan to move forward, Lakeville voters must still approve a zoning change for the former hospital site from multi-use to industrial. When that will happen is still unclear, according to Lakeville Town Hall.

"We have some traffic patterns and things to work out in the future, but the proximity to the highway is the main concern to us right now, to get our trucks on and off the road as quickly as we can," Chuck Fraser, Sysco senior vice president, told the Middleboro Gazette. "So we've moved toward the Lakeville Hospital as our site."

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