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Boughton: Matrix redevelopers to pay ‘student impact fee’

December 7, 2018

DANBURY — Mayor Mark Boughton and the developers behind new plans for the massive Matrix Corporate Center have struck a deal to charge the project a new annual fee dedicated to school funding, the mayor announced Friday.

The so-called student impact fee is the first of its kind in the state and is designed to allay fears that the hundreds of new apartments planend for the mixed-use campus would overburden local schools without contributing more to the school budget.

Instead, the development will pay a per-unit fee to supplement its usual property tax bill specifically for dedicated to the Danbury Public Schools budget, Boughton said.

The fee would raise about $550,000 in its first year, based on current redevelopment plans, in addition to its $860,000 annual tax bill, he said. The fee will increase to $750,000 over the next several years as the project is built out and the city will reap the fee through 2039, he added.

Boughton announced the new fee during his annual State of the City speech on Friday, just six weeks after he raised the alarm that Summit Development’s plan without changes would be dead on arrival at City Hall because of its impact on the already-strained schools budget.

The Southport-based company agreed to pay $17 million for the long-underutilized, million-square-foot former Union Carbide campus. The plan calls for 400,000 square feet of residential units, 600,000 square feet of office and retail space, and another 100,000 for a new conference center.

This story will be updated.

zach.murdock@hearstmediact.com

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