What the newly elected Bangor City Council is looking to do

From an article in the Bangor Daily News

The city’s department heads sat down with council members Thursday night(November 6,2014) to set priorities and talk about critical issues for the coming term.

One concern city officials have stems from a report released last legislative session that suggested Maine could be home to one or two more casinos, depending on size and location. That spurs concerns about the bottom line of Maine’s first major gaming operation: Hollywood Casino in Bangor. After Oxford Casino opened, Hollywood Casino saw its revenues drop by about $9 million. With further drop in revenues, there’s a chance the facility might ask for a decrease in valuation — leading to a decrease in tax payments, according to Ben Birch, the city’s tax assessor.

The city is in the middle of major infrastructure projects in the heart of its downtown and along Main Street. Bangor International Airport is in the middle of a $10 million modernization project. A firm has been chosen to study traffic flow on Broadway, one of the city’s most congested areas.

The last council placed an unprecedented focus on cracking down on residents with back taxes — some of whom had not made a payment on their accounts in 20 years. This has sprouted into an effort to tear down or rehabilitate abandoned and dangerous buildings scattered across Bangor.

Also on the radar will be the continued development of the Bangor Waterfront, including improvements to the Waterfront Concerts venue.

All of this work, and much more, will need to be done with limited funding. City officials expect state and federal dollars coming to the city to continue to decline, meaning the city will need to continue to dig for its own revenue sources and budget cuts to prevent putting the burden on taxpayers.

From an article in the Bangor Daily News: New city councilor optimistic his legislative experience will help Bangor face challenges ahead, By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

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