PITTSFIELD, Maine — Pittsfield has six new industrial park spots ready to be filled by businesses, said Town Manager Kathryn Ruth.
The second phase of the Pittsfield Industrial Park expansion was completed this month. The development included creating 2,800 linear feet of paved roadway, water and sewer lines and three-phase power.
“We’re extremely pleased to have the lots available,” said Ruth. “I can’t believe we have this resource. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”
The six lots range from 2.09 acres to 3.99 acres apiece. They are located on Parrillo Drive and Business Court, adjacent to Industrial Park Street.
“When we put the project together, we were looking to cluster businesses,” said Ruth.
The town hopes to attract businesses involved in advanced technology, valued-added wood products, high-tech services and financial services, the town manager said.
The town purchased the property in 1989 with the intention of zoning out an industrial park. But grants weren’t easily accessible at the time and the town didn’t want to raise property taxes to pay for paved roads and water and sewer, said Ruth.
“We applied for a grant when I arrived here and filed it in 2004,” said Ruth. “We were told at the time that we were too rural [for the federal grant]. So we went back a few years later in 2008 and applied for the grant application again. With the federal stimulus money available, we were awarded an economic development grant from the federal government in 2009.”
Ruth’s aim is to bring higher-wage and higher-skilled jobs to the area, which is consistently ranked among the highest in unemployment rates.
“We want to lower the unemployment rate for the area,” said Ruth. “The Pittsfield labor market, which consists of 16 community towns in the area, often has the second highest unemployment rate in the state.”
The industrial park is in a strategic location, said Ruth. It’s near Interstate 95 and only 40 miles from Augusta and 33 miles from Bangor.
Ruth said she understands that the economic climate isn’t great right now but she wants Pittsfield to be ready for when it turns.
Two business owners already have toured the site, said Ruth.
“We’ve also had a lot of people come down and look around themselves,” she said. “Any business owners interested in a site can contact me at the town office and I’ll take them for a tour.”
Full-scale marketing for the lots will start this winter, she said.