Developer pays to preserve trees in Lewiston

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LEWISTON — Developer Gendron and Gendron will pay the city $20,000 to not cut trees bordering part of the developer’s southern Lewiston business park.

City councilors voted 5-0 to skip harvesting the trees from a 22-acre area of the Lewiston landfill just south of the second phase of the Gendron and Gendron business park.

City Administrator Ed Barrett said developers were concerned that cutting the trees would hurt their property value.

“They were concerned that logging activity could inadvertently create wetlands, and that would have a negative impact on their development potential for the property,” Barrett told councilors.

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He said the city had expected to make $20,000 from the sale of wood harvested from the site. Instead, the developers will pay the city.

“That keeps us whole, since we had already budgeted that revenue as part of the 2012 budget,” Barrett said. “Overall, the agreement lowers our cost and creates a potentially significant development parcel in that area.”

Gendron and Gendron completed the first phase of its park in 2009, just south of Lewiston’s interchange on the Maine Turnpike and east of Plourde Parkway. 

That first phase is home to several businesses, including tire retailer Max Finkelstein, FedEx, Cash Fuel, Fielding Oil and RF Technologies.

The second phase calls for an 11-lot subdivision, 145-acre business park on the eastern side of Alfred Plourde Parkway. It would be designed to include more than one million square feet of industrial and commercial space.

Developers have finished Gendron Drive, the main road into the site from Plourde Parkway. They plan to build a spur off that road called Priscilla Drive. Three of the business park lots and the end of Priscilla Drive will abut an unused 22-acre portion of the city’s landfill.

“We have no plans to use that land for the landfill,” Barrett said. “It doesn’t work with the rest of the site.”

But Barrett said the city did have plans to use the trees there, part of a forestry management plan adopted in 2010. The city has started harvesting trees from other portions of the landfill.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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