By Christine Legere
June 11, 2009
PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Rock Studios will not get an expected $50 million in state bond money to build the access road to its multimillion-dollar movie studio.
A state spokeswoman said the company’s application was denied because the project will not produce enough in tax revenue to cover the bond payments under the new infrastructure investment incentive program known as I-Cubed.
Plymouth Rock officials, however, plan to forge ahead with private money that has been committed to the project. According to the company’s real estate manager, Bill Wynne, heavy machinery should be digging the road to the studio site on the 240-acre Waverly Golf Course within a month or two. The studio is projected to open in late 2010. “Obviously we were disappointed and frustrated by the news, but we’ll make it work anyway,” Wynne said yesterday. “It’s too bad it took the state 18 months to figure it out.”
In a written statement, Cyndi Roy, communications director for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, said:”Under the I-Cubed program, it must be demonstrated that prospective projects will generate enough net new tax revenue to pay for the bonds that would be issued by the state in connection with the project. Based on the Department of Revenue’s analysis, this project will not meet that requirement.”
Plymouth Rock and the town’s legislative delegation said they were told the state denied the bond money because the film industry might be getting too large a slice of the state-aid pie. “I was told that because of the tax-credit avenues available to film production, the I-Cubed money was not allowed to go to this,” said Plymouth Rock’s chief financial officer, Joe DiLorenzo, who spoke to the state’s undersecretary of administration and finance, Jay Gonzales, yesterday. He said Gonzales promised that state officials would look for other ways to support the project.
State Representative Vinnie deMacedo, Republican of Plymouth, said the secretary of economic development, Gregory Bialecki, told Plymouth’s legislative delegation “to look at the big picture.” “I’m deeply saddened and disappointed,” said Selectman Butch Machado.”I thought this was a great and unique opportunity.”
Christine Legere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org