Granary presents plan for special tax revenue

June 13, 2023

The developer of the proposed Granary at Draper Farm development has presented a plan to Milton Town Council that would give the town access to potentially $5 million in revenue that could be used on infrastructure projects.

Convergence Communities founder Colby Cox said money would be raised over the 20-year buildout of the development, which would comprise 1,350 units on a 450-acre parcel on Sand Hill Road. 

Cox described the revenue as a bucket of money that would be carved out of the bond proceeds over the life of the project.

The Granary was given special development district status by the town. The way the district works is the town would issue bonds to help cover infrastructure related to the development, such as additional police and administration, and road maintenance. The town would be paid back via a special tax that would be levied on residents of the Granary for a limited period of time.

Cox said the bonds would be issued in phases as the development is built. The Granary development has been planned to be built in 10 phases, with the first phase possibly shovel ready by early 2024. Once that phase is underway, the first round of bonds will be issued. John Stalfort of Easton, Md.-based law firm Miles and Stockbridge said the money allocated to the town has to be spent within three years from the issuance of the bonds. 

Cox said the $5 million can be used in a number of different ways. First, the town could do projects that are external to the Granary, or it can do town improvements within the Granary. He said money spent outside the Granary is limited to 33% coming from the special development district, but it could be paired with state or federal money on a large-scale project. Projects within the Granary would be 100% funded by money raised from the special development district.

Cox said he was agnostic on the issue, and wanted to seek out town council’s opinion on the matter. He said he’d like to have a handle on what the council's ideas are as the Granary heads to the site-plan review process in the fall. 

Stalfort asked council if it could come up with a list of ideas for later in the summer. While council did not give him a firm date for when it would present its ideas, Mayor John Collier told Stalfort council members will do research and work to come up with categories of priority projects that the money could be used on. 

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