Poliquin’s Old Town airport bill signed into law

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WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s bill to help spur economic growth and job creation in Old Town has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

“This new law means more jobs and more economic growth for our communities in Maine,” said Poliquin in a press release. “This law is the product of months of hard work and close coordination between town officials and local leaders in Old Town and leadership in the House and Senate. Nothing is easy to get done in Washington and I’m extremely pleased that, through hard work, we pushed this across the finish line.”

In 1937, Congress passed the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act, a law that authorized the federal government to acquire damaged lands for the purpose of rehabilitating the space for various programs, mostly related to farming. Some of the land purchased was in Old Town. In the early 1980’s, this land in Old Town was sold to be used as part of the Old Town Airport with the stipulation that it only be used strictly for that purpose, due to requirements in law under the Farm Tenant Act.

The deed restrictions have long outlived their purpose. Poliquin’s bill removes the deed restriction on the land completely so that the town and airport can move forward with the project of developing the land to attract and welcome new businesses and jobs to the area.

“On behalf of the City of Old Town, I would like to give a very big thank you to Congressman Bruce Poliquin for taking the time, as always, to listen to the people he represents and to push this forward to give the City of Old Town an opportunity to make this happen,” said Council Chair David Mahan. “Being able to have this land available at the airport for the city to sell is a huge economic boost. We have had numerous businesses contact us and have been hoping this day would come. We have businesses ready to locate to Old Town. Once again, a big thank you to Bruce! We appreciate everything that you have done.”

“Many thanks to Congressman Bruce Poliquin and his staff for their hard work and persistence to remove antiquated deed restrictions that have hindered economic development and job creation in the City of Old Town,” added Old Town Economic Development Director Ron Harriman. “We appreciate our Congressman taking the time to meet with us to understand the issue and then to initiate the necessary legislation. We were pleased with the close contact and many updates received throughout the process. As a result, we expect new business and jobs for the City in the near future.”