Lawmaker seeks $25M bond for jobs in Brunswick, Limestone

Posted June 17, 2013, at 6:17 a.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A bill sponsored by state Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, DBrunswick, that would bond $25 million to create jobs at Brunswick Landing went to committee hearings this week and awaits inclusion within the state’s overall year-end bond package.

If passed by the Legislature and approved by voters, the bond would split $25 million between Brunswick Landing and the former Loring Air Force Base redevelopment project in Limestone. It would reload the Rural Jobs Development Fund, approved during a previous gubernatorial administration, which since has been depleted.

The bill, LD 1180, “could support the creation or retention of 8,500 jobs and over $60 million in private investment,” Gerzofsky said in a statement released Thursday.

“We know from the work that has happened so far that these efforts have been successful,” he said.

John Peters, a member of Midcoast Regional Redevelopmnent Authority’s Board of Directors, testified in support of the bond Wednesday before the Appropriations Committee.

No decision or recommendation yet has been made.

At its 2013 National Summit this week in Washington, D.C., the Association of Defense Communities described Brunswick Landing as one of the “best-performing” redevelopments from the Department of Defense’s round of 2005 closures.

The ADC is a federal resource office created to support redevelopment efforts in communities affected by military base closures.

Steve Levesque, MRRA’s executive director, spent part of the week at the summit. He, along with representatives from other areas affected by military base closures, discussed how to attract research and development, technology and manufacturing tenants to former military bases.Partly due to the progress made at Brunswick Landing, ADC has scheduled a forum on large-scale redevelopment to be held in Portland this fall, from Sept. 25-27.

Regarding LD 1180, Gerzofsky is optimistic.

“We’ll have a bond package at the end of session to go before the public,” Gerzofsky told The Times Record Thursday, “and I’m hoping that this’ll be one of those bonds.”

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