Conn. town woos SafeHome with tax break

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Thursday, December 1, 2005

CROMWELL,Conn.--To convince SafeHome Security that the best new home for it is right here, the Cromwell Selectboard unanimously approved a tax incentive to sweeten the deal.
If the fast-growing security company decides, as is expected, to build a headquarters here, the incentive package will give SafeHome tax breaks totaling roughly $240,000 over a seven-year period.
"The decision to build a facility here would be an extreme positive for the Town of Cromwell," said Craig Stevenson, economic developer for the town.
"When it's all said and done, [SafeHome president] David Roman will be making about a $5.5 million investment in the town," Stevenson said. Residential growth in this town of 13,000 has far outpaced commercial growth. "The deal would bring tax relief to residential property owners without the extra strain on town services that residential growth brings," said Stan Terry, recently retired first selectman for the town.
SafeHome has outgrown its current headquarters in nearby Rocky Hill, Conn., and plans to build a new 30,000- square-foot facility with space for corporate accounting, customer service, collections, sales and installation.
The new headquarters will include a central station, enabling the company to monitor its 30,000 to 40,000 accounts. Currently, SafeHome's accounts are monitored at two contract central stations.
"Initially we will occupy 25,000 of the space and lease out the extra 5,000 square feet," said David Roman. Roman expects to hire 25 new employees, bringing the total number working at headquarters to 100.
Negotiations were still underway at press time, but both sides expect to finalize the deal before the end of the year.
The vote on the tax incentive was originally scheduled to take place on Nov. 9, the day after the election, and the day that Stan Terry was to retire after 22 years with the town. Terry said he was eager to pass the tax incentive and see the SafeHome deal completed as part of his legacy, so he called a special Selectboard meeting on Nov. 2.
SafeHome targets the suburban market in New England,North Carolina and Florida.