BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Savings Bank took an initial step toward strengthening its foothold in the Queen City on Monday night, when the City Council voted to give the 160-year-old bank the option of purchasing three properties from the city.
“We’re looking to control our destiny over the long term,” Yellow Light Breen, Bangor Savings Bank’s executive vice president, said Monday, explaining that the company is eyeing the possibility of taking over ownership of three plots of land in the Maine Business Enterprise Park along Maine Avenue.
Bangor Savings has expressed interest in potentially purchasing properties at 19 and 203 Maine Ave., as well as a vacant plot of land adjacent to 19 Maine Ave., known as Lot 3, and the city now will give the bank a three-year option to purchase the properties.
Breen said there were no immediate plans for a purchase, or to build an expansion on Lot 3, but that the bank wants to keep its options open for the future. Both 19 and 203 Maine Ave. are under long-term leases which run out in 2032 and 2027, respectively, according to Breen.
Under the conditions of the purchase agreement, 19 Maine Ave. could be purchased from the city for $453,000, 203 Maine Ave. for $240,000, and Lot 3 for $263,000. Lot 3 has an additional option fee of $5,000 per year and a requirement that Bangor Savings construct a building of more than 20,000 square feet.
If Bangor Savings decided to purchase the properties separately, it would need to create an additional $2.5 million in taxable value through off-site improvements or improvements made to Lot 3, according to the terms of the agreement.
Breen said construction on Lot 3 could create “more of a campus situation” for the bank along Maine Avenue.
“We don’t know if we’ll be in a position to exercise those options,” Breen said, but he stressed that Bangor Savings’ roots were set firmly in Bangor.
On Wednesday night, the city will host a town hall meeting as it prepares to tackle a trying budget season, which will mean drastic cuts if Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget passes, according to city officials. The first meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bangor Civic Center. Members of the public can enter on the Buck Street side.
Also during Monday night’s rapid-fire, 30-minute meeting, the council voted to:
• Back legislation to make concealed weapon holder permit information confidential. Bangor is one of several cities in the state that keeps its own permit records.
• Accept a $189,700 bid from Copia Specialty to refinish concrete floors at buildings that will be part of the C&L Aerospace expansion at Bangor International Airport. It was the lowest of the eight bids the city received.
• Accept nearly $2.2 million in funding from The Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program. The program serves 3,000 people in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. The grant will cover administration and food assistance costs associated with the program from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013.
• Fire Chief Scott Lucas recognized Bangor firefighters for helping to raise nearly $2,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during last weekend’s chowder and chili cook-off.