From the BDN article: Bangor panel to hear pitch for citywide fiber-optic Intenet
By Evan Belanger
Increased access to high-speed, fiber-optic Internet could be in Bangor’s future, helping to bolster municipal revenue and make local businesses more competitive, according to city councilor Joe Baldacci.
Baldacci said the city council’s Business and Economic Development Committee will hear a presentation from Jeff Letourneau, executive director of Networkmaine, during Tuesday’s 5:15 p.m. meeting at City Hall. Networkmaine is a unit of the University of Maine System that provides high-speed Internet to the state’s research and education community.
The idea behind the presentation, Baldacci said, is to convince the committee to form an e-commerce task force that will develop a master plan for bringing fiber to the entire city.
“It’s really become an economic competitiveness issue, because other towns are doing it and other places are doing it,” he said. Continue reading →
From this article by Nick McCrea,in the BDN: Bangor continues push to rehabilitate eyesores, targets properties at Garland, Third streets
Another eyesore in Bangor is coming down to make way for new single-family housing.
On Monday night, Bangor city councilors approved the purchase of a rundown home at 171 Garland St. and gave a plot of land at 120 Third St. to Habitat for Humanity.
The Garland Street property, a boarded up apartment building half a block from Chapin Park, has long drawn the ire of neighbors. Its owner tried to launch a rehabilitation project several years ago, but that effort stalled for lack of financing. Bangor code enforcement officials examined the property, found it was too far gone to renovate and determined it would need to be demolished. The purchase price is $10,000.
In October, city councilors voted to demolish several buildings, including one at 108 Third St., a burned-out home adjacent to 120 Third St. The lot at 120 Third St. is empty, cluttered with debris.
The council voted to sell that .23-acre plot to Habitat for Humanity at a cost of $1, under the condition Habitat build a single-family home on the site. The group has been looking for a spot to launch a new building project in Bangor for several years. A neighborhood revitalization effort is underway in the West Side Village, which includes Third Street. An important goal in that effort is increasing the number of single-family homes. Continue reading →
As a city councilor my priorities will remain the same: to protect basic services-police, fire, schools, public health and public works. At the same time we need to cut costs that have the least impact on vital services. We have no illusions that either Augusta or Washington, D.C. will be of help, and the solutions and sacrifices needed will all have to be made here. If that turns out to be true we will meet these challenges with strength, intelligence and optimism.
I want to put on the table:
1. Review leases involving city departments to cut costs
2. Having a youth internship program for Bangor-Orono area college students to work in different city departments during the summer or for college credit
3. A community amphitheater
4. A city grant writer to aggressively pursue public and private grant opportunities
5. Supporting a state bond issue that includes capital projects in Maine’s service center communities.
In addition, I intend to work with groups to have a regional food distribution center in Bangor area that will purchase Maine grown food and refrigerate, store, distribute food statewide and with people who want to explore bringing a performing arts high-school program to Bangor that could attract and educate students from all parts of Maine. That may be an ambitious agenda but its only a partial list of the projects we need to work on over the next few years.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow our creative economy and move Bangor forward – Joe
This Wednesday meeting for the business and economic development is open to the public, please come: Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →