Thursday, October 8, 2009

Senator Collins secures major provision to assist Brunswick Naval Air Station redevelopment

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a conferee on the Senate Defense Authorization bill, has successfully convinced her colleagues to support a critical provision that will help accelerate the transfer of excess military property, and reduce the cost, or even make no-cost transfers, to communities hurt by base closures, including Brunswick.

Specifically, language included in the final version of the bill states “the transfer of property may be for consideration at or below the estimated fair market value or without consideration. The determination of such consideration may account for the economic conditions of the local affected community and the estimated costs to redevelop the property.”

“I am delighted that my colleagues on the conference committee approved my request to include
No Cost Economic Development Conveyance language in the final version of the Defense Authorization bill,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation is critical to the timely and successful redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station. This legislation will help Local Redevelopment Authorities to obtain properties at lower than market value, or perhaps even at no cost, and will be a cornerstone of implementing the master reuse plan for the base.

“These new provisions will provide the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority with additional tools to attract new businesses to the region and accelerate the redevelopment process. This will result in increased job opportunities for our skilled and dedicated workers and help to mitigate the very serious economic challenges created by the base’s closure. I fought hard to obtain these provisions in my work with the Senate Armed Services Committee, and I am truly delighted with the outcome.

Senator Collins added, “I would also like to thank Steve Levesque, the Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority for his outstanding leadership on this initiative both in Maine and nationally through his work with the Association of Defense Communities.”

Earlier this year, Senators Collins and Olympia Snowe wrote to the President urging support for a provision that would increase the utilization of no-cost economic development conveyances as a tool for property disposal.

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