MRRA 2013 Annual Report to the Governor

January 6, 2014

The Honorable Paul LePage
Governor of the State of Maine
State House Station #1
Augusta, Maine 04330

Subject: Annual Report of MRRA for the year ending December 31, 2013

Dear Governor LePage:

Pursuant to 5 MRSA §13083-S, I am writing to advise you of the activities of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) for the year ending December 31, 2013 at the completion of our fifth year of operation.

The highlights of 2013 include:

  • Since the first Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC) for the airfield on March 28, 2011 and the Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) Purchase and Sale Agreement signed on September 28, 2011, the Navy has transferred 1,659.64 acres of the 2,090 acres that MRRA is slated to receive. MRRA has now received 937.43 (94%) of the 992.2 acres of airport land and 722.2 (66%) of the 1,098 acres of the non-airport property.
  • MRRA managed a fully operational regional airport, with more than 1,200 landing and take offs last year.
  • In March, MRRA completed the construction of a $14.65 million build-to-suit manufacturing facility for Mölnlycke Health Care of Gothenburg, Sweden. Mölnlycke Health Care is a world leading manufacturer of single-use surgical and wound care products and services for the professional health care sector with wound care product plants in Finland, the United Kingdom and now Brunswick, Maine.

Pierre Guyot, Chief Executive Officer of Mölnlycke Health Care said:

“Increasing production capacity in America is one of the key elements of our strategy for sustainable expansion and reinforces our position as the number one player in the American advanced wound care market. By investing in the conversion of materials produced at our nearby Wiscasset manufacturing facility we are improving the efficiency and security of our supply chain, as well as providing local customers with 100% American made products. Mölnlycke Health Care has a long-term commitment to the State of Maine including plans for further investment in the vicinity of our two existing factories. As we build our presence in the region I hope to see the creation of a best-in-class R&D and innovation hub, where we can bring together our global expertise with the skills available.”

  • Forty one entities now call Brunswick Landing or the Topsham Commerce Park home and those entities are in the process of creating 750 jobs, exceeding the statutory short term economic development goal of replacing the 714 civilian employees at Naval Air Station Brunswick.

In 2013, MRRA signed new leases totaling 222,000 square feet of space to the following new companies:

      • ABL Electric
      • Brunswick Sewer District
      • D & D Automotive
      • Fessenden Geo-Environmental Services/Construction Materials Testing
      • Midcoast Chamber of Commerce
      • Mölnlycke Health Care
      • O’Neal Janitorial
      • Savilinx
      • Seachange Group LLC
      • Tempus Jets
      • Tri-Star Sheet Metal

This brings leased space total square footage to 329,632.

In the spring of 2013, MRRA received subdivision approval for the initial phase of the Brunswick Landing property paving the way for the sale of 44.61 acres and 28 buildings in Brunswick.To date MRRA has sold 290.01 acres of land, 334,303 square feet of real estate (331,803 just this year), and there are now four private sector real estate developers engaged in redevelopment activities at Brunswick Landing. As a result, a number of these buildings are in the process of being leased to, the following entities:

  • Seeds of Independence
  • Providence Service Corporation
  • Wicked Joe Coffee
  • The Maine Harvest Company
  • Wild Oats Bakery and Cate
  • Midcoast Veterans Center

MRRA has awarded over $25 million dollars in contracts for property improvements, building construction/reconstruction and airport and utility infrastructure since May of 2011.

Private investment at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park exceeds $100 million, with another $30-50 million in the planning stages.

Over $51 million in new tax base has been added to the property tax assessment rolls in the towns of Brunswick and Topsham, with new property tax revenues exceeding $2 million from the former base properties.

In July, the Town of Brunswick and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development approved two Tax Increment Financing Districts at Brunswick Landing. The thirty year TIF development program calls for a revenue share of fifty percent of incremental property tax revenue to invest up to $12.0 million for various infrastructure and building upgrades, including improvements to nearly nineteen miles of roads, sanitary and stormwater sewer collection and pump station system and electrical and potable water distribution system.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced on October 22, 2013 the eleven winners of the Make it in America Challenge, an Obama Administration initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States. The programs are designed to encourage U.S. companies to keep, expand or re-shore their manufacturing operations — and jobs — in America, and to entice foreign companies to build facilities and make their products here. MRRA was one of the eleven recipients.

MRRA in partnership with the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MMEP) and Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) was approved for a $2,425,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration, Department of Labor and National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish and fit-up of the 95,000 square foot TechPlace, an Advanced Manufacturing, Science and Technology Business Accelerator on the campus of Brunswick Landing in building 250, the former aircraft intermediate maintenance department, provide supply chain assessments and employee training. TechPlace will support innovative manufacturing businesses in the sectors of composite and advanced materials, biotechnology, renewable energy, and aviation/aerospace.

Other partners included: the Town of Brunswick, the Brunswick Development Corporation, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Southern Maine Community College, the University of Maine, the Maine Technology Institute, Mölnlycke Health Care and Kestrel Aircraft. Both the Brunswick Development Corporation and DECD have made financial commitments of $250,000 each.

As of December 31, 2013 MRRA has leased, sold or is managing the following property:

Square Footage

Available for Lease: 329,632 S.F.
Leased: 399,084 S.F.
MRRA Offices/Common Space: 29,928 S.F.
Sold: 334,303 S.F.
Utility Buildings: 14,728 S.F.
Total: 1,107,675 S.F.

propertychart

The statute requires that the report must address the following issues for the previous year:

A. Description of the Authority’s Operations
The year 2013 was another busy, challenging and successful year for MRRA. As a state, we continued to wrestle with an economy that is stagnant and the closure of NAS Brunswick only compounds the challenges facing Maine and the Midcoast region. Despite these challenges, MRRA continues to work hard to enhance the redevelopment of Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park and to be a catalyst for the State’s economic recovery. Our business development efforts continue to focus on quality job creation in several targeted industries: aviation/aeronautics, renewable energy, composites, information technology, biotechnology, and higher education.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority reached a number of important milestones in 2013, just nineteen months following the disestablishment ceremony by the United States Navy. This past year’s more important accomplishments include:

  • The MRRA Board approved a Power Purchase Agreement and a long term land lease for 4.25 acres with Village Green Ventures to construct an anaerobic digester to produce green energy at Brunswick Landing. Village Green Ventures, LLC, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York will use proven anaerobic gas digester technology to deliver an operating biogas plant capable of delivering up to 1 megawatt of electricity to the Brunswick Landing campus.
  • Last year, the Board approved the establishment of a direct lending revolving loan program capitalized by a portion of the proceeds from property sales. This year, MRRA worked with Mechanics Savings Bank of Maine to expand the lending program to include working capital and equipment. MRRA would act as an intermediary lender, relending bank funds to Brunswick Landing businesses.
  • The Navy transferred former Field House (building 211) to the Town of Brunswick through a transfer through the federal Department of Interior in October. The Town moved its entire Parks and Recreation operation from downtown Brunswick to this site.
  • In July MRRA sold .33 acres of land to Precast Concrete that abutted the company’s property at the Topsham Commerce Park. Superior Concrete provides a wide range of concrete products for both residential and commercial construction in mid-coast and southern Maine, principally manholes, catch basins, and utility boxes and more recently retaining wall systems.
  • In May the Board authorized the transfer of 24 acres on the south end of the campus to the Maine National Guard to support the Joint Marine and Army Reserve complex and other State needs.
  • In April MRRA sold ten buildings that were the former Bachelor Enlisted Quarters to Affordable Midcoast Housing (AMH) and 4.93 acres for $1,040,096.
  • On April 29, MRRA sold the former Personnel Support Building (building #24) and the Veterinarian Clinic Building (building # 592) on 2.86 acres to TBW, LLC for $510,000. These two buildings will house a new restaurant and commercial kitchen for Wild Oats Bakery and Café and the Seeds of Independence. Seeds of Independence is a mentor and volunteer-based nonprofit organization committed to helping at risk youth in Maine reach their full potential as independent, productive members of society. The organization combats juvenile delinquency and positively affects the school dropout rate in our state by operating numerous programs aimed at mentoring at risk youth.
  • The second block of Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQs), 8.87 acres and 12 buildings, was sold to Affordable Midcoast Housing on June 21, 2013 for $1,561,644.
  • To date, Affordable Mid Coast Housing (AMH) has closed on 71 housing units in the McKeen Street neighborhood. Our revenue sharing agreement with AMH requires that after $5,000,000 sales have been realized, MRRA receives five percent of the purchase price of each unit sold. Land sales now total $9,513,580 and MRRA has received $225,679.
  • In March, Steve Levesque and Annette Bossler of the Maine International Trade Center met with several companies in Great Britan and Germany who have expressed interest in expanding their businesses at Brunswick Landing.
  • In August the Federal Aviation Administration announced grants awards for 2013. Approved projects included $1.34 million for terminal building renovations, $102,400 to repair the roof of Hangar 5, and $181,000 for design costs related to renovations and expansion of the former fire station to house snow removal equipment. Over the last three years, the Redevelopment Authority has secured $8.8 million in grants — including the most recent funding — to build ten new T-hangars, demolish an old foundation, upgrade airport electrical and lighting systems, make safety improvements, add a new communication system and work on other projects. This announcement was matched by a similar commitment by the Maine Department of Transportation to provide a five percent state match totaling $81,170.
  • On August 7, 2013, the Office of Economic Adjustment signed a new Grant Agreement with MRRA for FY 2014 with a federal grant of $1,472,750.
  • In September MRRA announced that Tempus Jets of Newport News, Virginia will be relocating its FAA Part 145 repair station and interior completions businesses from Richmond, Virginia to Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM). Initially, the company has leased 34,532 sq. ft. of space in a 166,355-sq-ft hangar. The hangar’s size and excellent condition will allow the company eventually to expand its aircraft repair and completions business to include Boeing and Airbus business jets, FAA Part 21 aircraft certification and engineering. Tempus has transferred over $7 million in tooling, ground support equipment and spare parts to Brunswick from Richmond to support its operation.
  • On October 17, the auditing firm of Runyon Kersteen and Ouellette presented the draft audit of the Financial Statements for the period ending June 30, 2013. In his presentation and letter to the Board of Trustees, Mr. Farrar stated that RKO did not identify any deficiencies in MRRA’s internal control procedures and that MRRA’s financial statements are free from material misstatement and their tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Governmental Accounting Standards Board requirements. This was MRRA’s sixth clean audit.
  • Steve Levesque and Marty McMahon attended the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada in October to promote Brunswick Executive Airport. NBAA is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful.
  • In October, Robert Rocheleau of the MRRA staff attended the Data Center World – Global Conference in Orlando, Florida. This premier international conference for data center and facilities managers is sponsored by the Association for Computer Operations Management. Mr. Rocheleau returned with nineteen leads.
  • On October 2, 3 and 4, Ben Sturtevant of the MRRA staff attended the JEC-Americas Composites Show and Conference in Boston, Massachusetts exhibiting Brunswick Landing as a center for excellence of composites. JEC is the largest composites industry organization in the world with a network of 250,000 professionals. JEC’s mission is to organize exchanges and to facilitate connections among raw material producers, processors, distributors, machine and software manufacturers, institutions, academicians, researchers and users (aeronautics, automotive, marine, land transportation, construction, energy, and sports and leisure).
  • MRRA showcased Brunswick Landing and the Topsham Commerce Park at the MaineBiz Momentum Convention in Augusta on October 17. The event is a statewide business-to-business exhibition along with professional development and networking opportunities, and an array of marketing opportunities for MRRA in the Exhibit Hall.
  • During the last week of October, Steve Levesque participated in a foreign trade mission to Mexico with Maine Governor Paul LePage. The delegation included eight companies, three educational institutions, and three industry associations. The delegation held a total of 64 matchmaking meetings with potential agents, distributors, and partners. The Governor and others delivered a presentation on Maine to the Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos – an association of investors, entrepreneurs, and Mexican professionals with fourteen locations throughout Mexico. Steve and Governor LePage traveled to the city of Santiago de Queretaro for meetings with local automobile and aerospace business leaders, as well as a tour of the National Aerospace University of Queretaro (UNAQ) to learn more about its training and workforce development initiatives servicing the growing aerospace cluster and the local Bombardier facility.
  • In mid-October, MRRA welcomed Managing Director, Alison Semple and her colleague Alison and her colleague Julia Mills of OCO Global to gain a better understanding of the opportunities that Maine offers for investment and cooperative work with international companies. OCO Global is headquartered in Belfast, Maine with offices in London, Paris, and New York. Ms. Semple and Ms. Mills will work from their location in London to develop leads and represent Maine at various industry events and trade shows in the aviation, advanced materials, food processing, life sciences, and renewable energy sectors, as part of the Invest in Maine Initiative managed by the Maine International Trade Center.
  • As result of a notice to the Country of Portugal by the United States Defense Department to drastically reduce the operations of the United States Air Force at Lajes Field in Terceira, Azores, the State Department and Defense Department set up meetings with three officials from the Azores and Deputy Director Jeffrey Jordan to discuss the redevelopment planning process and economic development opportunities and strategies.
  • In November, Steve Leveque traveled to Washington, D.C. at the request of the Association of Defense Communities to meet with Congressional members and staffers on redevelopment issues, as well as HUB zone legislation and new market tax credit bills moving through Congress.
  • MRRA installed security gates on the east side of the airport. These gates have proximity card readers that will allow greater access for airport users and increase security by eliminating combination and key locks on existing gates. This system has also increased airport safety since each card holder must complete airport safety training.
  • Wildlife fencing was installed along the west side of the airport property to reduce the possibility of wildlife impacts on the airport.
  • MRRA completed the construction of a ten unit T- Hangar for private general aviation aircraft storage at a cost of just under $1.0 million. Eight of the ten units have been leased.
  • The former Navy Air Operations Building is being renovated to serve as a general aviation air terminal.
  • The airport lighting systems have been upgraded to civilian FAA standards. This project included demolition of old approach lighting systems and installation of new approach lighting systems at the south end of the airport.
  • In December we were notified that the Navy had approved a Finding of Suitability to Lease (FOSL) Hangar 4 and Building 250. The Navy and MRRA signed a Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance (LIFOC) for Hangar 4 and Building 250.
  • On November 21, MRRA held its sixth Annual Meeting. Former BRAC PMO Director for the Northeast, David Drozd, presented the keynote address. He spoke about his experiences with the 2005 BRAC round and MRRA’s strong performance record. The Board also re-elected the current slate of officers: Chairman, John Peters; Vice Chair, Sally DelGreco, Treasurer, Rita Armstrong and Secretary, Lois Skillings.
  • On December 10, MRRA hosted a foreign trade zone training seminar for its tenants and other economic development organizations within the State. Scott Taylor from Miller and Company of Kansas City, Missouri was on hand to present the benefits of the foreign trade zone designation of 394 acres at Brunswick Landing. There were twelve participants.
  • Providence, a provider of home-based behavioral health treatment services to children and families in Maine and education and treatment services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, is leasing two buildings owned by Priority Real Estate Group of Topsham.
  • MRRA is working with CBRE/The Boulos Company of Portland and REMAX Riverside of Topsham, to market the former Ground Support Equipment Building, the former P3 Support Building and Officers Club, among others.
  • On December 19, MRRA hosted a forum in concert with the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine on the Brunswick Renewable Energy Center (BREC) and TechPlace. The Authority reported on its effort to work with private businesses, non-profit organizations, government entities, and other interested parties to explore possible investments in energy efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and other alternative energy-related businesses, research and development programs at Brunswick Landing.
  • In December, Executive Director Steve Levesque spent a day with the Board of Trustees of the Loring Commerce Centre at a Board retreat to discuss strategic planning. Steve Levesque and Carl Flora discuss collaborative redevelopment opportunities on an ongoing basis.
  • On December 27, MRRA closed on the sale of the former Navy Gateway Inn, a 248 room hotel facility on 14.7 acres for just under $3.4 million to Affordable Midcoast Housing.

As of December 31, 2013, the following entities are doing business at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park:

Open for Business

ABL Electric Inc.
Affordable Midcoast Housing
American Bureau of Shipping
Bowdoin College
Brunswick Executive Airport
Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum
Brunswick Sewer District
D & D Automotive
Fessenden Geo-Environmental Services/ Construction Materials Testing
Flight Level Aviation
Goodwill Industries
Great Island Boat Yard
JHR Development
Kestrel Aircraft Company
Maine Army National Guard
Maine Coastal Flight
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Maine Technology Institute
Maine Tool and Machine
Mere Creek Golf Course (Harris Golf)
Midcoast Chamber of Commerce
Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
Midcoast Veterans Center
Mölnlycke Health Care
New England Tent and Awning
Providence Service Corporation of Maine
O’Neal Janitorial
Oxford Networks
Savi Solutions
SaviLinx
Seachange Group LLC
Seeds of Independence
Southern Maine Community College
Tempus Jets
The Maine Harvest Company
Town of Brunswick
Tri-Star Sheet Metal
United States Marine Reserve Center
University of Maine College of Engineering
Wicked Joe Coffee
Wild Oats Bakery and Café

B. An accounting of the Authority’s receipts and expenditures, assets and liabilities at the end of its fiscal year.
Please find attached an Unaudited Financial Report for the period ending December 31, 2013, including a balance sheet and budget report. Also please find attached a copy of the audited Financial Statements for the period ending June 30, 2013. The audit was conducted by Runyon Kersteen and Ouellette. These documents been presented to office of the State Controller for inclusion in the State financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2013.

It should be noted that MRRA does not receive a state appropriation as part of the General Fund Budget. MRRA’s funds come from a combination of funds from the Office of Economic Adjustment within the United States Department of Defense and revenues from leases. Capital improvements projects are funded from a combination of aviation capital improvement funds from Maine DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration and the federal Economic Development Administration within the Department of Commerce.

C. A listing of all property transactions pursuant to Section 13083-K
On February 7, 2011 the Navy and MRRA and signed the airport Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC) Agreement for 992.2 acres, including three large hangars, a number of aviation related support buildings and revenue producing facilities for the airport. The conveyance of title will come over time as properties that are determined to be “clean” through a Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) can be transferred from the Navy. Accordingly, not all the properties will be conveyed at the same time, but in phases as clean-up continues and FOSTs are issued. As of December 31, 2013 MRRA has received a total of 936 acres of airfield property and 31 buildings, only 14 of which will be used by MRRA. Seventeen of the buildings, many of which are small storage sheds or the former fuel farm facility will be demolished. In 2013, only the General Aviation Terminal Building (building 200) and corresponding 2.81 acres was transferred to MRRA as part of a PBC transfer.

MRRA may also enter into a Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance (LIFOC) with the Navy for property that may be used by MRRA or leased to another entity for property which has not yet been cleared environmentally. In December of 2013, MRRA signed a Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance on Hangar 4 and Building 250, the former Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department.

As a condition of transfer from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Navy, land and buildings within the Airport property cannot be sold.

On September 14, 2011 the Navy signed a Non-Binding Summary of the Acquisition Terms and Conditions for the Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine by and between the United States of America and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (i.e. term sheet) for a total of 1,098 acres. This property is being transferred though an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) which requires annual principal payments to the Navy beginning in 2015 of $150,000, plus interest of 150 basis points over the U.S. Treasury Composite Rate secured by the property. In addition, MRRA must share annually with the Navy twenty-five percent of gross revenues from the sale or lease or EDC property after the receipt of the first $7.0 million. The revenue share remains in place until gross revenues reach $37.4 million. There is no revenue sharing in excess of $37.4 million and less than $42.4 million. The Authority is required to pay the United States Government 50.0% of gross real estate proceeds in excess of $42.4 million until September 29, 2034. Property sales during the last fiscal year exceeded $7.0 million, requiring a payment of $57,931.05.

As of December 31, 2013, MRRA has received a total of 73 buildings and 722.19 acres (66%) of the 1,098 acres of the non-airport property through the EDC transfer. Sixteen of the 73 buildings, largely former security buildings, sheds and functionally obsolete buildings are scheduled to be demolished through a grant from the Economic Development Administration. No buildings or land were transferred to MRRA from the Navy during calendar year 2013.

The covenants of the Economic Development Conveyance from the United States Government require all sales and leases of property must be at market rate.
In summary MRRA manages a total of 47 buildings with 773,372 square feet of commercial, industrial and professional office space along with all of the associated utilities serving those buildings, including – streets and sidewalks, street lights, traffic signals, electricity, water, sewer and stormwater utilities.
The subdivision approval by the Town of Brunswick in March 0f 2013 paved the way for the sale of the property. This year, MRRA sold the following property:

propertySales2013

D. An accounting of all activities of any special utility district formed under Section 13083-L
In September of 2011 the Navy transferred all utilities on the base, including the potable water distribution system, the sewer collection and pump station assets, stormwater collection system and the electrical distribution system. We have inherited the Navy’s utility systems, but without the financial wherewithal of the federal government. We are faced with competing needs to (a) maintain service to the businesses, organizations and residential properties located on our properties and (b) provide for the sufficient funding to maintain and repair the utility system at Brunswick Landing. On October 1, 2011 MRRA began providing electrical distribution services, water and sewer/stormwater services to our tenants and through a Tenancy in Common Agreement with those who own property on the base.

This year also marked MRRA’s third year of operation of a regional general aviation airport which is becoming a great asset for the Midcoast region, with over 1,000 takeoffs and landings, just this year. With the inclusion of the Brunswick Executive Airport in the FAA’s Military Airport Program (MAP) the federal government in partnership with the State of Maine and MRRA, made substantial investments this year at the airport including

E. A listing of any property acquired by eminent domain under Section 13083-N
No property was acquired by MRRA through its powers of eminent domain.

 F. A listing of any bonds issued during the fiscal year under section 13083-I
MRRA did not issue any bonds during 2013.

The voters of Maine, however, approved a state transportation improvement bond which included $500,000 for investment in aviation facilities at the airport facility in Brunswick. These funds are being used as the local match for FAA Military Airport Program investments at Brunswick Executive Airport. Each dollar of state investment leverages $38 from the FAA and another $1 from MRRA.

The State Legislature and the voters of Maine also approved a bond referendum for $3.25 million to address Americans with Disabilities Act deficiencies at base buildings, utility meter upgrades, and building removals and other public improvements to support base redevelopment and job creation. As of June 30, 2013 all funds had been drawn down by MRRA from the State of Maine.

While not a bond, MRRA through one its affiliates, the Brunswick Landing MHC USA LLC borrowed $10.3 million from Bangor Savings Bank and a new market tax credit investment of $4.0 from Wells Fargo Bank two years ago (December 29, 2011) to finance the construction of an 80,000 square foot “build to suit” manufacturing facility for Mölnlycke Healthcare at Brunswick Landing. The building was completed in March.
G. A statement of the Authority’s proposed and projected activities for the ensuing year
Please find attached a copy of the FY 2014 Work Plan.

H. Recommendations regarding further actions that may be suitable for achieving the purposes of this article
Finally, the actual realization of new jobs and the timing of such at NASB will be dependent on several factors, including, but not limited to: receipt of successful and timely conveyances from the Navy for the remaining buildings and land, the condition and stability of the national and local economic markets; and the availability of sufficient financial resources for property management, security and operations, infrastructure, property improvements and marketing.
Successful redevelopment of closed bases is a very long-term proposition, which requires substantial public and private resources and patience. A key element in successful base redevelopment efforts is the level of support provided by the local, state and federal governments.

With the leadership and broad support of the Maine Legislature the voters of Maine approved an $8.0 million bond issue back in 2009 to support the redevelopment effort. This bond included $3.25 million to support investment in infrastructure replacement/ upgrades and building upgrades to meet civilian reuse and $4.75 million for Southern Maine Community College to rehab buildings as NAS Brunswick. The bond has been an important key this past year to our ability to bring new businesses to Brunswick Landing.

In addition to the bond issue for capital projects, the State of Maine adopted two additional pieces of legislation that will be key to ensuring the rapid and successful redevelopment of NAS Brunswick. The first is the Brunswick Naval Air Station Job Increment Financing Fund that was established in 2009 to direct a portion of new state income taxes from jobs created at the former NAS Brunswick and Topsham Annex back to MRRA and Southern Maine Community College. This economic development tool is a performance based tool; meaning that the greater the number of job created and the higher the incomes of those jobs, the greater the revenue to support base redevelopment and expansion of the programming at the Brunswick campus of SMCC.

This year, MRRA received just over $15,000 from the J-TIF program.
The second new tool, which already has had a significant statewide impact, is the Legislature’s decision to exempt all aircraft and repair parts for aircraft for the period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2015. The State’s previous policy created a “black mark” on the State of Maine by the aviation community as place to avoid as an aviation destination or to conduct business. This decision has had a statewide impact on growth in the aviation sector. This change in the law has also provided the impetus for the Brunswick Executive Airport to lead an initiative, with supportive funding from the Maine Office of Tourism, to develop the Maine Flying Trail to help promote Maine to the flying public as an aviation destination. Without this change in legislation, Tempus Jets would not have relocated its operation from Virginia to Maine.

Finally, MRRA would encourage the Governor and Legislature to evaluate the state’s business assistance program in an effort to keep pace with the economy and the changing needs of businesses, including, but not limited to, workforce development and capital assistance.
I. A description of  MRRA’s progress toward achieving the goals set forth in Section 13083-G:

  1. Short-term goal. Recover civilian job losses in the primary impact community resulting from the base closure;
  2. Intermediate goal. Recover economic losses and total job losses in the primary impact community resulting from the base closure; and
  3. Long-term goal. Facilitate the maximum redevelopment of base properties.

Naval Air Station Brunswick employed 714 civilians at its Brunswick and Topsham sites at the time of the base closure announcement. After just 31 months from the official date of closing the base in May of 2011, there are over 350 individuals working at Brunswick Landing; up from 165 last year, with an expectation and commitment to grow that number to upwards of 750 by the end of 2014.

Thank you for your interest and support of this important economic development project for the State of Maine.

Sincerely,

steveSig

Steven H. Levesque
Executive Director

cc.John Butera, Governor’s Office
George Gervais, Commissioner, MaineDECD
David Boulter, Director, Legislative Council
Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development
Brunswick Legislative Delegation
Brunswick Town Council
Topsham Board of Selectman
Gary Brown, Brunswick Town Manager
Cornell Knight, Topsham Town Manager
MRRA Board of Trustees
Jeffrey K. Jordan, Deputy Executive Director