Media Archive

Spec building group holds first meeting

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 14, April 03, 2002

By Ben Bragdon
Staff Writer

Representatives from nine county towns signed legal paperwork creating the Piscataquis Properties Corporation (PPC) Wednesday with the goal of attracting new businesses and jobs to the region.

The group took the first steps toward that goal by creating the corporation that hopes to finance, construct, own and operate new industrial buildings in Piscataquis County. It will also market the buildings to companies in need of immediately available workspace.

The corporation is the brainchild of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) Building Committee. The committee was formed in the middle of last year to investigate the impact of available building space on the county's economy.

After finding that the county lacked the kind of sites required by the vast majority of expanding business and industry, the PCEDC was awarded a grant from the State Planning Office with which to design the speculative building program.

The committee in charge of designing the program realized that, since federal and state funding will not pay for a building and individual municipalities cannot afford a spec facility by themselves, there must be cooperation among towns in order to make the plan viable, says Mark Scarano of PCEDC.

The plan calls for towns around the region to combine resources and divide responsibilities to construct speculative buildings in each of couny's three major labor market areas.

The first building will be in the Greenville area.Fhat site was chosen because there is already an ivailable tenant for that location, as well as donated land on which to put the building.

Once built, the Greenville site will generate income for the corporation from both its lease and from tax revenue. That money, minus 10 percent to be passed on to the host community, will be used in the construction of a second building in the Milo/Brownville area.

The recent sudden and severe economic dislocation caused by steadily declining employment in that region makes it important that the area be chosen as a site.

The subsequent revenue produced by those two sites will be put toward the third building site in Dover-Foxcroft. Land is currently available there in the Pine Crest Business Park.

The towns that host the buildings will take out loans for their construction. The debt will be guaranteed through the PCC by the member municipalities.

That way, says Scarano, all the towns involved in the project will share in the effort to bring new jobs to the region.

The PCC will also pursue federal and state grants to help cover the cost of construction. Each town's involvement in the project wi
have to be approved at a town meeting before an assumption of debt can be made.

Town representatives from Abbot, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft, Greenville, Milo, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington attended the meeting hosted by Mark Scarano and John Holden of the PCEDC.

Interim officers were elected at the meeting Jeanne Reed of Monson will serve as president John Simko of Greenville was elected vice-president. Martin Puckett of Sangerville will perfom the duties of both secretary and clerk, while Sophie Wilson of Brownville will be the treasurer.

Interim officers will serve until the first annual membership meeting on July 1.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.