The town of Gorham will develop 141 acres of the M.P. Rines Trust, seen here from Main Street, into an industrial park. Robert Lowell / American Journal

GORHAM — The town is gearing up to design a new industrial park at the large land tract voters approved buying in a $5.9 million referendum in November.

The referendum authorized the town to borrow $4 million to buy 141 acres from the M.P. Rines Trust and spend up to another $1.9 million to transform the former cow pasture into an industrial park. The project is aimed at broadening the town’s tax base to ease property tax burden on homeowners.

Milone & Macbroom in Portland, which has designed several industrial and business parks, will be paid between $245,000 and $288,000 to provide the engineering services for the park, according to Town Manager Ehrem Paraschak.

The town, in its first foray into the real estate business, will invest the $1.9 million for design, surveying, permitting and building roads and other infrastructure at the site.

Town Councilors Lee Pratt and James Hager, and Owens McCullough, an engineer appointed by the Gorham Economic Development Corp., have been appointed to the project’s steering committee. A Gorham business person and a resident of the abutting residential Shamrock Drive neighborhood will also be appointed to the panel.

The committee will meet with Milone & Macbroom once everyone has been confirmed, Hager said.

The entire site is near the Gorham Industrial Park.

The old farm property was the scene of a brutal murder 119 years ago and made sensational news at the time in Maine history.

In January 1901 Clifford Mosher, 24, the son of the farm’s late owner Rufus Mosher, was beaten and clubbed to death at the farmhouse on Main Street. His two assailants smashed out a kitchen window, attacked him, injured his elderly mother and ransacked the house, according to newspaper reports. The attackers ate the supper Mosher’s mother had cooked before they disappeared into the snowy night. Both were apprehended.

Comments are not available on this story.