Wetlands permit clears way for Auburn industrial park

AUBURN — Environmental and wetlands approval of an industrial park have cleared the way for a summertime groundbreaking.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced its approval for development of three parcels at the end of Lewiston Junction Road near the city's border with Poland. All three parcels are currently owned by the Auburn Business Development Corporation. Plans call for a new eight-lot subdivision on the property.

Combined, the three parcels make up 141 acres surrounding Cascades Auburn Fiber on Lewiston Junction Road. Plans call for 119 acres to be devoted to a technology-focused industrial park.

"We'll get our drawings done and bid it probably in the late throes of the winter for a late spring construction," said Roland Miller, Auburn's director of economic development.

It's been a long time coming, Miller said. City councilors approved a $3 million bond in 2005 for the project.

"Until we received this final permit, we have been showing it, but we have not been able to predict when it would be online. We thought the schedule we have would work, so we've been out there marketing it to potential investors. But now, we know for sure."

The project is a joint venture between the city of Auburn and Auburn Business Development Corporation.

The project picked up a $1.7 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration this summer to help pay for utility and site work on the 141-acre industrial park.

The lot will be served by a new road, Cascades Drive, once work is complete. The city estimates the new industrial park could create approximately 200 new jobs and attract $10 million in private investment.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Joe Gray's picture

technology based? good investment?

What exactly does the economic development gurus in our area mean when they say technology based industrial park? Is there some special infrastructure being put in place here? If so, why not play that up as an advantage?

Why do city taxpayers put in $3,000,000 plus national taxpayers kick in another $1,700,000 to get $10,000,000 in investment? So government had to kick in almost $5,000,000 to get $10,000,000; that doesn't seem like a good investment.

Why did we invest so much money and effort for the benefit of Auburn Business Development Corporation? And who exactly are they? They are said to be a non-profit business group from Auburn and yet they are controlled by the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council. So who exactly is benefiting from this large "investment" of public monies?

Why don't the Sun Journal reporters actually do some investigating on these matters instead of simply retyping the cities' press releases? How about a timeline of this boondoggle showing exactly why we are building this park? How about researching and reporting some information on our industrial vacancy rate in the LA area? How about researching and reporting on the exact costs of this project and where the money is moving to and from?

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