Dexter meeting set for Aug. 27
By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - Town officials are working to improve the economic climate in this community in a variety of ways, including development of the airport.A regional airport is viewed as an important asset because businesses looking to expand or relocate in the state often seek out communities with these facilities, according to Dexter town officials who have fielded such inquiries in recent years.
To help Dexter and surrounding communities with regional airports address growth issues and more, the Department of Transportation has scheduled six meetings throughout the state, including one in Dexter on Aug. 27.
The DOT also will conduct meetings Aug. 6 in Houlton, Aug. 14 in Machias, Aug. 20 in Wiscasset, Sept. 3 in Auburn and Sept. 10 in Carrabassett Valley.
Officials from Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Jackman, Greenville, Old Town and Pittsfield have been invited to the Dexter meeting. The exact time and location of the meeting have yet to be determined.
Jennifer O'Byron, aviation planner with the DOT, said that other communities with general aviation airports also are welcome to attend.
O'Byron said the meeting will cover networking among airports, maintenance issues and capital improvements. Dexter is struggling with the latter two issues.
Dexter officials completed a master plan update last year that identified existing infrastructure and environmental issues and recommended improvements for the airport.
Such planning must be done to get matching federal and state funds for improvement projects.
Work has begun to address the recommendations with limited available funds, according to Town Manager Robert Simpson.
Trees that were encroaching onto the runway were removed and work has begun for a taxiway extension to a new subdivision for hangar development, he said.
Last year, the town created a subdivision of 17 new lots. Four of those lots already have been leased and hangars will be developed on them soon, Simpson said.
"We're observing relatively rapid growth," Simpson said Wednesday.
Town officials have purposely maintained a low yearly lease on the lots to encourage growth. In exchange, the town grows and receives increased valuation and taxable property to help the local economy, he said.
The long-range plan is to have enough planes using the Dexter airport to entice a fixed-base operator to the facility to offer service to the pilots.
That could be the springboard for the development of a small industrial park at the airport, according to Simpson.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|