Maine's Burnswick innovative economy praised

By Ramona du Houx -October 27th, 2010 · 

Representative Chellie Pingree and Democratic nominee for governor, Libby Mitchell, held a press conference at the Maine Advanced Technology Center in Brunswick. Both praised the redevelopment work occurring at the Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB). The new name of the facility is Brunswick Landing, Maine’s Center for Innovation.

“The composite industry developing in the Brunswick is going to create hundreds of good paying manufacturing jobs,” said Rep. Pingree. “But it takes private industry and local officials working closely with the state and federal government to make it happen.”

“I am proud to have served as Senate President when this bond package was passed,” said Libby Mitchell. “Investments like these are exactly what is going to move Maine forward. Recognizing the opportunity in front of us, Republicans and Democrats worked together to create the type of public investment that can spur private sector job creation.”

Because of Pine Tree Zones 180 workers were employed directly after the base closure announcement along the midcoast. The Brunswick companies that took advantage of the Pine Tree Zones, combined, have a payroll of $2 million, according to the Department of Economic and Community Development.

“One of my opponents wants to put a nuclear power plant here and another is not convinced that Pine Tree Zones work. The base closure could have been devastating for the state, but by working with the University, the community college and the private sector, we were able to foster economic activity that is putting people to work. I will continue to use this type of innovation to move Maine ‘s economy forward,” said Mitchell.

Brunswick Landing will combine existing state-of-the-art aviation facilities with Maine’s community college system to create a center of excellence for composite technologies. The Legislature created and funded this plan to bring hundreds of high-paying, green and educational jobs to the area–all without any taxpayer general funds.

“Brunswick has businesses using cutting edge technologies that stimulate our economy,” said Alex Rep. Cornell du Houx. “In 2008 this innovation economy had a 38% growth rate throughout Maine. Brunswick Landing is the best location for these technologies to continue to be developed and commercialized. The long term plan is to have, wind turbines- built from composites- manufactured here.”

Brunswick Landing funding was approved by the Legislature last year as part of a bond package. About $8 million in bonding was specifically targeted for Brunswick Landing to bring the buildings into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and general infrastructure upgrades. The financing packing calls for the bonds to be paid off using the income and other taxes generated at Brunswick Landing, making it a self-financing endeavor.

Kestrel Aircraft has already made a $100 million dollar private investment.