AYER — If Town Meeting says yes, an energy company will move its corporate headquarters, manufacturing operations and administrative support functions to the former Cains Building.
The selectmen signed a special tax assessment agreement, subject to Town Meeting approval, during its Tuesday meeting. The agreement with American Superconductor Corporation, AMSC, and property owner 114 Main Street LLC gives the company a reduced property tax assessment for 10 years.
Voters will decide for or against the agreement during a Special Town Meeting on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall in Town Hall.
The 10-year agreement requires American Superconductor to relocate from Devens.
In addition to moving employees and the Gridtec manufacturing operations, AMSC and 114 Main Street are required to make capital improvements, and use local contractors and companies to support its business operations.
The move brings training opportunities. The manufacturer will partner with the Ayer Office of Community and Economic Development to develop a High School Innovation Technology Apprenticeship Program.
Under the agreement, 90 percent of the value of the property will be tax exempt the first year. The property, which is two parcels, is valued at $3.9 million, said Tom Hogan, assessing administrator for Ayer.
With approximately $3.5 million coming off the tax rolls, the office estimated the first year’s impact to the average single family tax bill will be approximately $29 per year. The impact will decrease annually over the life of the agreement as the percentage of exempt value decreases.
Cains left the property at 114 Main Street in February 2017.
“The prospective attraction of American Superconductor to Ayer will serve a critical macro-economic need to grow and expand our innovation and advanced technology professional community,” said Alan S. Manoian, director of Ayer’s Office of Community and Economic Development in a statement.
“It will also drive the ongoing attraction of additional world-class 21st century knowledge-based, innovation and advanced technology firms to the Town of Ayer; thereby enhancing our industrial/commercial tax base for the rising generation of Ayer residents and business-owners,” he wrote.
AMSC Windtec Solutions provide wind turbine electronic controls and systems, designs and engineering services that reduce the cost of wind energy for wind turbine manufacturers through its European operations.
AMSC Gridtec Solutions provide engineering planning services and advanced grid products and systems that optimize network reliability, efficiency and performance for power grid operators.
AMSC is committed to protect and electrify the U.S. Navy fleet with its advanced ship protection systems and power distribution systems. The corporate headquarters and the grid and Navy businesses would be in Ayer.
The town will host a public information forum about the agreement and American Superconductor on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall on 1 Main Street. The deadline to register to vote for the Special Town Meeting is 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15 in the town clerk’s office.
More information can be found on the Town of Ayer’s website: www.ayer.ma.us
The annual Fall Special Town Meeting will take place as usual on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Ayer Shirley Regional High School.
Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.