Politics

December 12, 2013

Proposed new Maine DHHS office faces tight timeline

The plan to move state agencies to South Portland requires completion in about a year.

By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Haeuser said he’s aware of no environmental hazards or significant wetlands issues on the property that might complicate construction.

The proposed site is on Jetport Boulevard, near the airport’s main entrance at Exit 46 of the Maine Turnpike, between the Time Warner Cable building and the Hilton Garden Inn.

The nine-acre parcel is part of a 14.6-acre lot owned by Brooklawn Memorial Park, a privately owned cemetery at 2002 Congress St.

ELC Management has an option to buy the land, located to the rear of the cemetery. David Morgan, Brooklawn’s president, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Though the total value of ELC Management’s project is unknown, city officials are already considering a plan to include the property in South Portland’s tax-increment financing district for transportation, Haeuser said. If that happens, 25 percent of taxes collected on the property would be spent on things such as city buses, bicycle racks and sidewalks, he said.

Haeuser said his office will make no special concessions to review ELC Management’s proposal more quickly.

“We try to be very efficient with all projects,” he said. “We have strict standards and they have to meet them.”

Kelley Bouchard can be reached at 791-6328 or at:

kbouchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: @KelleyBouchard

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