It’s lasted all summer – but crews in Houlton are in the final stages of extending the water and sewer lines on the North Road.
Greg Sherman, Assistant General Manager at the Houlton Water Company says, “we have some paving and some looming that need to be done – some looming, there’s some fencing that needs to be done around our sewer pump station – for the most part though everything has been done and checked – the pressure testing on the water and sewer has been completed.”
The 1.2 million dollar project is an effort by the town to attract businesses to this area between Tractor Supply and North Country Auto. Town Manager Gene Conlogue calls it an investment in economic development – he says businesses that are already there plan to hook up to the water and sewer lines – and he expects more to move in for that reason.
Gene Conlogue, Houlton Town Manager, says, “By doing this project on our own and getting this all set up, we don’t have to worry about when a business comes to us and says we’d like to locate in your community, oh by the way can you get us a grant to extend the infrastructure? No, we already have the infrastructure going right by their door”
Conlogue says the North road is the biggest growth area in Houlton – in large part because it is the intersection of Route 1 and 1-95, and its proximity to Route 2. Both Conlogue and Sherman say that throughout this project, they really haven’t heard many complaints from people about being slowed down here..the good news for folks who may be feeling frustrated, is that the work is set to be complete by October 1st.
Sherman says, “there shouldn’t be much in the way of traffic stoppage at this point, just a little bit of paving and so forth so, most of the construction is completed.”
Without any outside businesses lined up to move in just yet, Conlogue says he understands this expensive project is a bit of a gamble, but he’s confident it will do the town good. He says, “economic development is about risk, and economic development is about investment..so sometimes you have to take the opportunity and take the chance to make your community a better place.”