April 23, 2018
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Bangor Hydro may locate future headquarters in Hampden

By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. President Gerry Chasse briefed Hampden town councilors about possible future consolidation plans that could involve locating the company’s headquarters in Hampden.

Bangor Hydro currently has about 250 employees working at six different locations in Bangor and Veazie, according to company officials, and currently owns a piece of land in Hampden.

“We would like to eventually bring everyone all together under one roof,” Chasse told councilors Monday night.

Chasse said with the lease on one of the company’s main buildings set to expire in 2019, Bangor Hydro administrators are meeting to propose ideas to incorporate into an expansion plan over the coming weeks.

One possible option involves building a central headquarters on a tract of land Bangor Hydro already owns near the U.S. Postal Service’s Eastern Maine Distributions and Processing Center in Hampden.

“It is something that’s on the horizon for us and we would like to have a recommendation by the end of the summer,” Chasse told the six councilors present.

Councilor and Mayor Janet Hughes was unable to attend Monday’s council meeting, so Councilor Andre Cushing served as mayor in her stead.

Chasse also talked about alternative heating and energy sources that his business is using and promoting, and possible options regarding Bangor Hydro’s current contract with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Corp., which runs through 2018.

“We’re operating today under extreme, out-of-market terms with a contract signed a number of years ago,” said Chasse.

The company intends to start a discussion with PERC about how to alleviate some of those excess costs.

Chasse also pointed out that the heating and lighting systems that will be utilized at the new Hampden Academy, which is to open this fall, will cost about a quarter of what the existing Hampden Academy pays for heating. He said the new school’s system will eventually “pay for itself five to seven times over.”

Also Monday, the council:

• Approved the purchase of a new $72,113 dump and plow truck. The truck is a 2012 Ford F-550 truck from Whited Ford, which submitted the lowest of four bids.

• Approved two $200 donations to local school clubs to compete in international competitions. The donations were to help defray travel expenses for the Destination Imagination teams from Reeds Brook Middle School and George B. Weatherbee School, which both won state competitions to qualify to compete in the DI Globals May 22-27 in Knoxville, Tenn. Expenses are estimated at $665 per student.

• Voted to accept the meeting schedule recommended by Town Manager Susan Lessard for coming town budget negotiations. The deadline for the town to complete its budget is the third week in June.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bangor Hydro currently has employees working in Hampden. Bangor Hydro's six current locations are in Bangor and Veazie.

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