Brewer, Orrington working toward adjacent business parks

Posted April 07, 2012, at 6:16 p.m.
Last modified April 08, 2012, at 6:36 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — City leaders are finally ready to present official sketch plans for its long-planned Brewer Business and Commerce Park, a 28-lot commercial subdivision off Wiswell Road.

“We are moving forward,” D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewer’s economic development director, said recently.

At the same time, neighboring officials are just beginning to map out protected areas for the Orrington Business Park, which abuts Brewer’s park and is situated on about 130 acres off Brewer Lake Road.

“We have been doing some work as far as doing studies on vernal pools and that sort of thing,” Orrington Town Manager Paul White said Friday. “We’re getting the vernal pools registered and so forth.”

The business park at one point was a joint venture between Brewer and Orrington to establish a jointly owned 455-acre business-industrial park, but now both communities are working toward creating independent but abutting business parks that someday may be connected.

Maine Liquid Methane Fuels LLC, which is working to establish the state’s first liquid methane fuels plant, is the anchor tenant in the Brewer park that is situated on about 320 acres located behind the landfill.

The plant operators plan to tap into the nearby Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline that runs through the selected parcel in the business park, Main-Boyington has said. The facility, similar to others in Massachusetts and California, will liquefy and purify the natural gas into several different fuels so that it can be transported by truck.

Maine Liquid Methane Fuels has its local, state and federal permits, but still is looking for regional clients to sell the product to, she said.

Brewer upgraded a short dirt road into the business and commerce park for the gas-to-fuel energy plant, and also recently extended utilities to the business park, Main-Boyington said.

Orrington owns a 168-acre parcel on Brewer Lake Road, including nearly 40 acres in neighboring Brewer, and residents at the 2011 annual town meeting approved creating two new zoning districts on the town-owned parcel.

The first is an 18-acre mixed residential-commercial zone and the second is a 119-acre general industrial district for commercial endeavors that is next to Brewer’s business park. Orrington’s park, which was identified as an idea residents wanted in the town’s 2000 comprehensive plan, also sits behind a 300-foot-deep residential farm land district and a 125-foot no-build buffer zone.

“Any actual mapping of plans for the lots and so forth is in progress,” White said. “We have not set our sights on any particular plans at this point.”

Even though the city has taken several steps over the years to establish the Brewer Business and Commerce Park, the first official plan will not go before city planners until May, Linda Johns, city planner, said Friday.

“It’s a subdivision sketch plan to begin the process,” she said.

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