City backs $5.25 million office development, starts saving for Odlin Road busing

Posted Aug. 12, 2013, at 10:04 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 13, 2013, at 6:12 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council backed a $5.25 million Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems medical office development deal that could further boost the city’s health care industry by 2015.

With little discussion during its Monday night meeting, the council supported a deal that EMHS says will lead to a 30,000-square-foot building that will house offices for a growing number of Eastern Maine Medical Center practitioners.

EMHS plans to purchase a 2.4-acre city-owned lot in the Maine Business Enterprise Park, known as Lot 8A, for $183,000. The site is adjacent to EMMC Northeast Cardiology Associates.

Joel Farley, facilities administrator for EMMC, said the hospital is still trying to determine what primary care providers and what services might be located at the new site.

In other business, the City Council voted to create a fund for donations that will go toward keeping the Community Connectors Odlin Road bus route open for the time being, and to allow city staff to solicit donations from businesses along the route.

The city was forced to cut Community Connector’s budget by $20,000 during a difficult budget season. Community Connector targeted the Odlin Road Route for elimination, as it was the newest and least-used route. The route also allows hotel workers to get to their jobs and people recovering from addiction to get to Discovery House for treatment.

Community members and agency leaders came out to defend the route and asked the city to find some way to restore it.

The fund will allow the city to take in donations to keep the route going for the next few months until the city can take a deeper look at ways to keep it going long-term.

Brent Miller, director of Discovery House, handed Debbie Cyr, the city’s finance director, a check for $2,000 to get the fund started.

Also during Monday’s meeting the council voted:

• To extend the city’s contract with Republic Parking on a month-by-month basis for up to three months while the council tries to determine how parking enforcement at the airport and downtown should be handled in the future. Councilors surprised Republic Parking last month when they voted to reject a pair of privatized parking proposals after some councilors expressed strong displeasure with the company.

• Gave Bangor Fire Department permission to negotiate with Pierce Manufacturing to purchase two new firetrucks. This year’s budget includes funding for the trucks, which cannot exceed $800,000. Every truck the department has purchased since 1982 has been manufactured by Pierce.

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