AUBURN — Transportation was the buzzword yesterday at the annual meeting of the Auburn Business Development Corp.

“We need to expand the transportation infrastructure so that business can be here, expand and prosper,” said Gov. John Baldacci, the keynote speaker at the breakfast event.

Expanding the airport and freight rail lines in Auburn and adding a passenger train service through the city to Canada were a few of the projects mentioned at the meeting, held at Martindale Country Club.

ABDC members said they hoped their organization could act as a “catalyst” to improving Auburn’s transportation infrastructure.

“It’s all in an effort to bring new business to the area,” said David Pierson, who took over as the group’s new president at the breakfast.

Looking back over the past couple years, outgoing president Rich Livingston noted the progress at the Auburn Intermodal station, specifically its recent designation as a customs facility.

“Auburn is going to become a major cargo port,” said Livingston.

Enhancing the area’s tax base and bringing new jobs to the area were also among the group’s goals for the upcoming months, according to Pierson. He seconded Livingston’s comments about continuing to act as a bridge between public and private sectors in the community.

In addition to infrastructure issues, Baldacci’s address focused on budget concerns and strengthening the economy in Maine.

He stressed luring new business to the state and encouraging young people to stay in Maine or move here.

“We’ve got to move forward. We can’t just sit back and wait for the next ship to roll into port,” Baldacci said.


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