A long zoning battle came to a close last week with the announcement of a deal that will keep both Pike Industries and Idexx in Westbrook.
Pike will be allowed to extract high-quality rock, a valuable commodity for road construction projects, from its quarry in the Five Star Industrial Park.
Idexx will go ahead with plans to build a $50 million headquarters building in the industrial park, with the assurances that sound, dust and the number of blasts at the quarry will be strictly limited.
The agreement ends a long and complicated dispute as well as a pair of lawsuits. It may not be anyone’s first choice, but it is a good outcome for the businesses and the city and is an example of local government working the way it’s supposed to.
Pike had the most to lose in the dispute. If the courts upheld the city’s zoning board decision, Pike would have been unable to move any rock, which is reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Idexx did not have as much at stake, but it would not have benefited from an extended court battle. The company was ready to build its new facility and wanted it to be next to its existing operation in Westbrook, but would have had to build somewhere else if the issue was unresolved.
The city now gets to keep both businesses paying taxes and employing residents, which is a better outcome than having one side win after a long court battle. Not everyone will be happy with this resolution and some residents and businesses would prefer to see Pike gone for good.
But Mayor Colleen Hilton and other city officials have helped forge a resolution that will best serve the whole community.