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Town of Hermon continues to experience economic growth

Posted April 19, 2012, at 9:21 a.m.
Last modified April 20, 2012, at 10:50 a.m.

With easy access to Interstate 95, and located next to Bangor, Hermon has become the community to live, work, and recreate.

And that’s not all, says Ron Harriman, economic development director for the Town of Hermon. Hermon has a small town feel with big city features.

And business owners, residents, and visitors alike have taken notice.

Hermon becomes “the” place to live and work

“The Hermon location is ideal,” Harriman said. “You have quick I-95 access via Route 2 and Coldbrook Road. In addition, taxes are low, but services are high. It’s just a nice community.”

The 2010 census also showed that Hermon is becoming an attractive place to live.

“We were listed as the region’s fastest growing community in the last census,” Harriman said. “With a 22 percent [increase in] residential population [and] business parks filling at a rate that’s been surprising, the community has been working on ways to be creative by partnering with the owners of our business parks.”

But for business owners, “nice” doesn’t always cut it. The Town of Hermon gets that. That’s why the leadership of the town, in conjunction with Harriman, has developed tools to help businesses thrive.

Those tools include capitalizing on the benefits of living and working in Hermon: quality education, access to recreational activities, a low tax rate of $11.47 per $1,000 in value, a business-friendly reputation, upscale residential developments, and a focus on living a healthy lifestyle.

That’s why Hermon, Harriman said, is the perfect alternative to a larger city.

“We’ve done a lot to partner with businesses in Hermon,” he said. “We have our own loan program, which is especially helpful for small businesses trying to grow.”

When Harriman became economic development director for Hermon in 1998, his role was to work closely with prospective new businesses to help them find appropriate site selections for their needs and future growth. Hermon boasts four business parks, hundreds of industrially-zoned acres spanning the borders of Bangor and Interstate 95, and a railroad hub for the Bangor region.

Hermon also provides municipal water, sewer, and three-phase power to most of the business district. Harriman and his team have experience in helping businesses take advantage of local or state incentive programs.

And, he said, Hermon is on the cutting edge of technology and has high-speed, competitively priced broadband throughout the business community. The town has also partnered with RedZone Wireless to provide low-cost Internet service.

“We’re proud to retain the small town flavor and balance it out with economic development,” he said. “It’s a nice situation in Hermon because the zones where economic development is permitted is where it needs to be and doesn’t encroach on residents.”

The town’s village master plan, now in the implementation stage, is placing an emphasis on developing the village into an interactive area with sidewalks, trails, and crosswalks.

Signs of economic growth in Hermon center

Hermon is also home to more than 350 businesses, many which are home-based businesses. However, there is plenty of commercial development going on in town.

The Hermon Shopping Plaza, located on Route 2 diagonally across from the entrance to Hermon High School, is the most visible example of economic growth in Hermon, Harriman said.

Recently, the shopping plaza welcomed five businesses: Hermon True Value Hardware, Family Dollar, Subway, State Farm Agent Faouzi Tlili, and Covey Physical Therapy. Another business is expected to be announced this month leaving one space remaining. The town would like to have a pharmacy open in the village, he said.

“The businesses that are coming are businesses that residents want to see in a community like Hermon,” Harriman said. “The hardware store in particular was a high priority. These kinds of businesses give the town its own identity.”

Economic growth shows in other areas of town as well, Harriman said. The Sports Arena expanded recently to include mini golf and now also houses the Hermon location of Pat’s Pizza.

Activity in our business parks is very strong with new business construction and expansions underway in each of the four parks. This means dozens of new jobs and increased value for the community.

“For a community the size of Hermon to have that many businesses growing or totally new businesses coming into town, that says something,” Harriman said.

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