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Congressman Bruce Poliquin

Representing the 2nd District of Maine

Rep. Poliquin’s Bill to Help Create Economic Development and New Jobs in Old Town Passes the House with Bipartisan Support

May 17, 2017
Press Release
The commonsense bill, Congressman Poliquin’s second to pass the House in the new Congress, removes an outdated restriction to help business and job growth

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s (ME-02) legislation to help business development and job creation in Old Town passed the U.S. House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support in a 418-1 vote.

 

The Removing Outdated Restrictions to Allow for Job Growth Act (H.R. 1177) will revise an outdated law in Old Town by removing an obsolete deed restriction on a parcel of land next to the Old Town Airport. Congressman Poliquin’s bill will allow the airport to move forward with the project of developing the land to attract and welcome new interested businesses and jobs to the area.

 

This is Congressman Poliquin’s second bill to pass the House in the new Congress.

 

“After working closely with town and local leaders in developing this legislation, I’m incredibly proud and pleased to see it pass with broad bipartisan support,” said Congressman Poliquin. “This bill is a commonsense fix to an outdated law and will allow all the pieces already in place to come together to grow jobs and businesses in Old Town. I’ll continue to push hard until this bill gets signed into law to help create Maine jobs.”

 

Said Ron Harriman, Economic Development Director for the City of Old Town, “We are very pleased with the Congressman's work to remove archaic deed restrictions to allow for new industry and job creation in the City of Old Town. Congressman Poliquin and his staff have made this issue a high priority and have kept in very close contact with the City throughout the process. We are hopeful this bill to promote economic development will have strong support.”

 

Said House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, “H.R. 1177 is a smart and simple fix for the people of Old Town, ME. By removing the deed restriction, this legislation will help boost economic development and stimulate job creation in the area. I would like to thank Rep. Bruce Poliquin for bringing this issue to our attention and for providing a solution for the local community.”

 

Congressman Poliquin speaks on the House Floor in support of his bill to remove an outdated restriction to help business and job growth in Old Town.

 

Background:

 

Congressman Poliquin has worked closely with town officials from Old Town, local business leaders and officials from the Old Town Municipal Airport in developing this legislation in February 2017 to remove outdated restrictions on land so businesses can grow there and bring new jobs to the community.

 

Recently, town officials and officials from the airport have expressed interest in developing portions of the land adjacent to the airport for commercial use to attract businesses. In fact, the town has invested more than $1 million in infrastructure improvements to help bring job creators to the site. Multiple businesses have expressed interest in using the site, each bringing potential new jobs to the area. However, town officials recently discovered that antiquated restrictions exist that would prevent the site from being used for these businesses.

 

In 1937, Congress passed the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act, a law that authorized the federal government to acquire damaged lands for the purpose of rehabilitating the space for various programs, mostly related to farming. Some of the land purchased was in Old Town. In the early 1980’s, this land in Old Town was sold to be used as part of the Old Town Airport with the stipulation that it only be used strictly for that purpose, due to requirements in law under the Farm Tenant Act.

 

The deed restrictions have long outlived their purpose. Congressman Poliquin’s bill would remove the deed restriction on the land completely so that the town and airport can move forward with the project of developing the land to attract and welcome new businesses and jobs to the area.

 

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