AUGUSTA – A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash to help the Loring Development Authority navigate the COVID-19 pandemic received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business on Thursday.
“The 1994 closure of the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone was devastating for the people and small businesses in Aroostook County. Since then, the Loring Development Authority has worked to revitalize the base by embracing new economic opportunities and creating good-paying jobs,” said President Jackson. “The base has too much potential; we can’t give up on it now or let it go to waste. With a little help from the state, LDA can get through this economic crisis and continue with its important work.”
LD 22, “An Act To Authorize Early Payment of Anticipated Funds to the Loring Job Increment Financing Fund” would provide flexible financing to support LDA’s efforts to revitalize the Loring Air Force Base by embracing new economic opportunities and creating good-paying jobs. The goal is to transform the base into an economic hub for the region.
The Loring Development Authority of Maine (LDA) was created in statute upon the closing of the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. The Authority manages the 3,700 acre business, commercial, and industrial park that includes a 1,600-acre aviation complex. It serves as landlord to businesses and provides municipal services to approximately 300 residents and 28 businesses, which employ an estimated 800 workers. LDA works to attract new employment opportunities and jumpstart new economic activity in the area.
The Legislature’s IDEA committee will hold a work session on LD 22 next week.