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Enfield, Conn., Confident It Can Replace MassMutual, Its Largest Taxpayer

MassMutual's offices in Enfield, Connecticut.
Don Treeger
The Republican / masslive.com/photos
MassMutual's offices in Enfield, Connecticut, which will close as part of an expansion in Massachusetts.

A town official in Enfield, Connecticut, said he was surprised by the news its largest taxpayer will be leaving, but is confident another corporation will take its place.

MassMutual plans to relocate about 1,500 employees by 2021. Most should end up in Springfield, Massachusetts, which is eight miles north.

"It's disappointing, to say the least," said Enfield Town Manager Brian Chodkowski. "This was an announcement which we had no real heads up on. We're weren't given any advanced notice." 

Connecticut State Senator Kohn Kissel, who represents Enfield, said MassMutual handled the news it's leaving in a poor fashion, and that he was also surprised when he heard about the move.

"Less than four years ago, I went to a ribbon cutting ceremony at their campus in Enfield, where they actually invested over $38 million to renovate the campus and the facility," he said. "So they must have really crunched the numbers, and had some financial incentives to consolidate in Springfield. But that being the case, it's very unfortunate that they're leaving the Enfield campus."

Massachusetts offered MassMutual about $46 million in tax incentives to add jobs in Springfield and Boston.

As to why local officials weren't notified beforehand, the company didn't provide a direct answer. But it said in a statement there were still "many details to be worked out."

Chodkowski did his best to put a positive spin on the news. 

"This is really an opportunity for us," he said. "We're excited about the opportunity to begin marketing that facility for the next corporation that wants to call Enfield, Connecticut, home."

Chodkowski said it's fortunate that most jobs should stay in the area, so employees who live in Enfield won't have to move.

MassMutual is Enfield's largest taxpayer, and paid the town about $1.2 million for 2016. 

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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