LIMESTONE, Maine — A measure approved by the U.S. Senate’s Appropriations Committee contains $975,700 for infrastructure development at the Loring Commerce Centre.
Five entities in the state could share more than $3.2 million for Small Business Administration projects if the financial package is approved by Congress.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins last week announced the funding package included in the proposal for fiscal year 2010.
Carl Flora, president and chief executive officer of the Loring Development Authority, said Monday afternoon that the funding would help modernize facilities and infrastructure at the Loring Commerce Centre to support business development.
“A great deal of this money would be invested in our buildings,” Flora said. “It would help us repair roofs and heating systems while also allowing us to make lighting and pavement upgrades.”
Formerly the Loring Air Force Base, the LCC is a commercial, industrial and aviation park that houses more than 20 employers, including the Loring Job Corps and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Staff at the LDA work to promote economic development and attract new businesses to the park, and the LCC features a vast array of buildings on more than 25 miles of paved roadways.
Flora said modernizing the facilities would assure that the LCC’s infrastructure would continue to be available for small businesses to occupy.
While the CEO acknowledged that the funding was not yet a lock, he said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the LDA would receive the full amount.
“It will not address every need,” Flora said. “But it will make a good dent in the list of projects that we have and I believe the investment will be paid back through business establishment and job creation.”
If the package passes, the city of Brewer also could receive more than $1 million to move forward with its plans to develop a business and commerce park. The town of Orono would receive $200,000 to provide infrastructure and facility upgrades in order to develop a business park. The University of Southern Maine would receive $850,000 to increase lab space in the bioscience building, and the Washington Hancock Community Agency would garner $150,000 to provide business training to rural entrepreneurs in Washington and Hancock counties.
A final decision is expected in the coming weeks.