Orrington creates new business park

Posted June 06, 2011, at 10:52 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — Resident and local businessman Henry Kenny asked one question about the proposed new Orrington Business Park, situated on about 130 acres off Brewer Lake Road, during Monday’s annual town meeting, then residents resoundingly approved the project.

“Is Brewer going to do anything on their side?” he asked.

Town Manager Paul White and several in the audience of 63 answered Kenny’s question, saying that Brewer already has started a business park on its side, located off Wiswell Road.

The business park at one point was a joint venture with Brewer but now both communities are working toward creating independent but abutting business parks.

After the meeting, town consultant Ron Harriman added, “The plan has always been to have a main entrance from Brewer.”

Creating a business-industrial park was identified as an idea residents wanted in the town’s comprehensive plan, finished in 2000, he said. Since then, the city has been purchasing land and working on the project, at times with Brewer.

The town owns a 168-acre parcel on Brewer Lake Road, including nearly 40 acres in neighboring Brewer.

“There is an ongoing discussion between the two communities” but no final decisions have been made, Harriman said. “Certainly, that property will play a part” in the abutting business parks.

Residents approved creating two new zoning districts on the town-owned parcel — a mixed residential-commercial area and a general industrial district for commercial endeavors — that sits behind a 300-foot-deep residential farm land district and a 125-foot no-build buffer zone.

After the no-build zone is a new, 18-acre residential commercial district and then a 119-acre industrial district that borders with Brewer..

The only other question asked during the annual meeting was about what capital projects the town would undertake this year with the $401,500 set aside in the town warrant. After a list of projects was read, residents approved spending the money.

Residents also quickly passed the municipal, school and Penobscot County budgets, which totaled approximately $9.23 million, and approved shoreland zoning revisions.

The town budget is $2,575,048, an increase of $165,512; Penobscot County taxes are $392,428, an increase of approximately $23,000; and the $6,265,256 school budget increased $130,992.

Local election winners were announced at the meeting and residents honored former selectman Ralph Holmes, who served on the the board between 2001 and 2010, and school board member Kathy Lawrence, who is retiring from the board after serving since 2006.

Incumbent Howard Grover earned 109 votes and resident Terrence Bladen took in 100, filling the two open posts on the Board of Selectmen.

School board incumbent Glendon Rand II, with 96 votes, and resident Jennifer Long, with 84 votes, beat out resident Robert Phillips, who took in 48 votes, to earn the two seats on the panel. Both the selectmen and school board terms are three years.

After the meeting, while the new shoreland zoning map was being removed from the wall, Swetts Pond Road resident Jerry Smith said, “What I like is the beaver pond across the road is now on the map.”

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