Sandwich City Council members approved a sales tax rebate agreement with Scott Gjovik, president and owner of the Gjovik Ford dealership on Route 34, on the city’s east side during a special meeting May 24.
The agreement set up a payment plan for the city to pay sales taxes back to Gjovik for a 15-year period to help the company pay an estimated $6.2 million to construct a new two-story building totaling 32,800 square feet of space, as well as remodel the existing building. It would be located west of the present Ford dealership, which has been here for about 40 years, Gjovik said.
The original proposal from Gjovik asked for assistance with other costs, but they were not included in the approved agreement.
The proposal that originally was before the council also asked that all utility connections and building permit fees for the new dealership facility be waived or refunded to Gjovik. It also asked that, on request of Gjovik, the city make a qualified engineering assistant available to Gjovik and its construction team at no cost, to help the company secure necessary government approval of plans and specifications for the new facility.
These items were not included in the final agreement that was approved May 24, but Gjovik said they could be discussed at a later date.
One of the requests for assistance with fees was placed on council’s May 29 agenda by Mayor Rick Olson for discussion. He said he was aware it would come before the council again, so he placed it on the agenda for discussion only.
After considerable discussion, council members learned from Tom Horak, public works director, that Gjovik would ask the city to waive the cost of a water meter and water hookups to the new facility.
He said he had not yet been given working plans for the building, but estimated that the cost for meter and hookup for this facility would be about $50,000.
Horak said he hopes to have the correct cost for council members by the time the issue is placed on an agenda for action.
Alderman Sheryl Chmielewski asked Horvath if the city had waived fees for other agencies.
Horvath said he has waived fees for public bodies and nonprofit agencies, but could not recall fees being waived for non-public projects.
Olson said he put the issue on this week’s agenda for discussion and a possible vote at the next council meeting.
Once complete, Gjovik’s facility would consist of a 22-acre complex of four dealerships – Ford, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC, plus an expanded maintenance operation, an expanded Allstate agency, a vehicle reconditioning center and a new vehicle accessory sales and display area
Gjovik said they expect this development to attract other new businesses and residents to Sandwich.
He said Ford Motor Co. has agreed to contribute $750,000 toward the cost after the new facility is open.
The request to waive the water fees could be placed on the agenda for the June 11 council meeting.