At the September 3, 2019 Town Council Meeting, the Town Council voted to authorize a voter referendum for the November 5, 2019 Election for the purchase of two vacant parcels for the development of a new industrial park in Gorham.
The Town of Gorham is requesting voter approval of a $5.9 million bond to fund the purchase, design and construction of the next phase of the Gorham Industrial Park. The land to be purchased is identified on the Assessing Tax Maps as Map 30, Lot 1 and Map 29, Lot 1. The lots are located between Main Street and Cyr Drive and have a combined total area of 141 +/- acres. The parcels have the ability to connect into public sewer and water, natural gas, and 3 phase power.
Why does the Town need to invest in designing and construction of the next phase of the Gorham Industrial Park?
- In order to provide a balance between the ability to provide adequate municipal services and the ability/ willingness of Town’s taxpayers to pay for these services, a balance between differing property tax types (residential, commercial, industrial) is necessary. When not enough industrial/ commercial lands are available for easy development, the property tax burden is drastically shifted onto residential property.
- Gorham’s tax burden is already heavily relying on residential property taxes with residential properties tax accounting for 82.54% of property taxes paid.
- Gorham has been in the top five fastest growing Town’s in the state for a number of years. The Town continues to receive awards making it more desirable for families to locate to Gorham; Rated 2nd for “The Best Towns in Maine for Young Families” and “4th Safest Town in Maine”, Single-family residential growth puts a higher burden on municipal services than commercial and industrial development.
- Currently only 2 Gorham industrial park lots are vacant, totaling 4.83 acres, without construction or site plan approval. In order to provide a variety of lot sizes for industrial development, these large industrial parcels need to be purchased and go through the subdivision approval process.
- To date, no private developer or other non-profit entity is willing to undertake the purchase of the land, seek the necessary local, state, and federal approvals, and construction of the next phases of the Gorham industrial Park.
- The Town anticipates that the required bonding will be more than covered through sales of the lot and taxes acquired from the new properties developed in the new Gorham Industrial Park.
The Town has hired Woodard & Curran Engineers to look at the parcels to develop a couple of different conceptual subdivision plans to help envision what an industrial park at this location may look like. It should be noted that these plans are conceptual and have the possibility to drastically change as the property proceeds through the engineering and permitting process. See conceptual plans provided below: