BRUNSWICK

Paid for by an expiring tax increment financing district and fees levied on “big box” stores, the town’s examination of a 15- year-old plan to build two connector roads at Cook’s Corner continues to move ahead.

Engineering proposals for the project are due Dec. 19.

The plan first proposed in 1998 would build an outlet road to funnel traffic from the intersection on Gurnet Road by the entrance to Sears, past the Regal Cinema and through where the former Atrium Inn once stood, before crossing Thomas Point Road and finally linking with Tibbetts Drive.

Construction of the road — estimated at $1.4 million to $1.6 million, according to a recent engineering study — is intended to relieve existing traffic intensity and stimulate new economic development in the area, Town Manager Gary Brown said.

Design and planning for the project already is paid for, using “impact fees” placed on the warehouse retailers such as Lowe’s Home Improvement and Walmart when they moved into Brunswick. About $176,000 already exists in that account.

“We would utilize tax increment financing dollars to fund any bonds associated with this road,” Brown said.

Either an existing industrial park TIF district at Cook’s Corner, which is about to expire, could be amended to allow revenue to pay for the roadwork or a new district could be placed in the area where the road would be cut, in anticipation of new development that would rise along its path.

Funding of the design project will have no effect on the town’s General Fund, said Brown.

“This does not commit the town to going forward,” he said. “It provides us with detailed information and an educated and informed cost estimate should we look to build this road sometime in the near future.”

Even though the study is 15 years old, east Brunswick resident and District 1 Town Councilor David Watson said its cause is still relevant.

“It’ll provide sidewalks, and it will reduce traffic flow and increase safety to citizenry living out there,” Watson said. “I’m definitely in favor of (building) it.”

“The ‘big picture’ is that the town is moving in a new direction, but one that includes lots of new commerce being developed out at (Brunswick Landing),” Town Council Chairwoman Suzan Wilson said. “I’ll reserve judgment until engineering studies come in. But something like this does fit in with the future of the area out there.”

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CONSTRUCTION of the road — estimated at $1.4 million to $1.6 million, according to a recent engineering study — is intended to relieve existing traffic intensity and stimulate new economic development in the area, Town Manager Gary Brown said.



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