April 26, 2018
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Pine Tree Zone could be amended

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — When Lewiston-based Oxford Networks decided to expand its communications company into Bangor, it invested more than $2 million in fiber optics and promised several new, good-paying jobs.

For that, the city has recommended that it extend its Pine Tree Development Zone — and the various tax incentives that come with it — to the business.

Stephen Bolduc, Bangor’s economic development officer, recommended this week that the city amend its Pine Tree Zone to include Oxford Networks’ property on Summer Street.

The city’s Business and Economic Development Committee accepted that recommendation, which will now go to the full council for a public hearing and vote.

Earlier this year, Oxford installed 42 miles of fiber optic cable in Bangor and Brewer with the intent of providing telephone, Internet and data transport service to businesses of all sizes. The network links with Oxford’s recently expanded fiber optics connection to Boston, giving businesses high-speed Internet access to large population centers around the world.

To help support the new network, the company built an office building in Bangor. When the company approached the city about the Pine Tree Zone program, it seemed a good fit.

Pine Tree Zones are a state program designed to offer tax breaks to businesses in a variety of sectors. While the state administers the program, the city has the authority to facilitate businesses.

“We have a finite amount of land designated as a Pine Tree Zone, but we can move things around,” Bolduc explained.

Brian Paul, vice president of business development for Oxford Networks, said the company hopes to bring in 15 new jobs by the end of next year.

In June, the 108-year-old company had a formal rollout of its expansion into the Bangor market, which business leaders called vital to the future of communications in this part of the state.

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