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BREAKING NEWS, Maine State-Town of MRRA Reels in More Federal Taxpayer Dollars!

The unofficial capital of Maine's new public-private government is reeling in more federal taxpayer dollars to finance its executive airport.

 The town of MRRA is the third former military base to be chartered as a municipal corporation serving as an instrument of the state. The first was the Washington County Development Authority, in Maine's poorest county, chartered as a shell company which would transfer the real estate assets of the base to private developers. Since a legally challenged entity such as :a "municipal corporation serving as an instrument of the state" cannot collect property taxes or provide municipal services, the Legislatures gift of WCDA"s real estate assets to a private non-profit corporation, left the WCDA without any means of income except collecting rent on remaining real estate.

Recently after two private developers were unable to make a go of the expensive-to-maintain commercial property, it was gifted back to the WCDA. The volunteer staff of the WCDA requested a state bond to maintain and develop the commercial real estate. It was shelved by the Maine Legislature. I have put in a request with the Legislative Library for what happened there after: Was the request shelved because the WCDA does not have a private investor to purchase support from the Maine Legislature? Where are Senator Collin and King when it comes to delivering bonds to Maine's poorest county?


L.D. 1334, An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Repair and Renovate the Former Cutler Navy Base in Washington County to Facilitate Development and Stimulate the Economy was carried over by the Legislature's Appropriations Committee. The legislation would send a bond issue question to the voters that, if approved, would provide funds to repair and modernize the buildings on the former base.This funding is essential to the successful redevelopment of the property and would allow this significant public asset to again contribute to the state's economy. The Authority strongly recommends passage of LD 13 34. 
The Authority also recommends that the state invest the necessary staff and financial resources to support the redevelopment of the former Cutler base. A bill that would have provided direct financial support to the Authority (LD 1333) was defeated in the last legislative session. The Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development has appointed Brian Mulligan as his representative on the Authority's Board; Mr. Mulligan's active participation has been very helpful. Staff support in grant proposal development, project administration, and property management would help move the redevelopment project forward. 
At the time when the Cutler Navy base was being transferred to civilian use. there was a special delegation sent to Washington DC to arrange a special law for the transference of the property which changed the priority for instruments of conveyance. General BRAC closure rules grant priority to local economic development conveyances (EDC). The language in the federal act negotiated by the special delegation to Washington allows for the property to be conveyed to “to the State of Maine, or a subdivision or agency thereof 
(Sec. 2853) Authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to convey to the State of Maine, or a subdivision or agency thereof, the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Cutler, Maine. Authorizes the lease of such property pending conveyance. H.R.4205 –Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (emphasis added)
Maine's congressional delegations were Senator Olympia Snowe (R), Senator Susan Collins (R), and Representatives John Baldacci (D) and David Allen(D). The Washington County group included State Rep. Martha Bagley, Cutler First Selectman David Eldridge and Machias Town Manager Scott Harriman and Elmer L. Harmon and Richard Richards of Local 2635 of the American Federation of Government Employees.

David Eldrige and Machias selectman, Kenneth Bucket Davis were the two incorporators of the Cutler Development Corporation. The Cutler Development Corporation. was created to transfer the property as a gift from the state to the private non-profit Cutler Development Corporation. In BRAC Closure Rules a private non-profit organization does not qualify for a no consideration (cost free) transfer unless it provides a vital public service

The Home Rule Amendment requires that when the Legislature charters a municipal corporation, it must provide the process by which the inhabitants of the  municipality can amend their own charter. This has never been done for Maine's three municipalities serving as instruments of the state.

At the time the base was closed, there was the option not to accept the expensive-to-maintain commercial real estate. Without a municipal government, the only agent responsible for accepting the property and giving it to the Cutler Development Corporation was the State of Maine. Now that the property has been gifted back to the base, the Maine Legislature no longer accepts responsibility for the expensive-to-maintain commercial real estate - per my knowledge to date, Now it is the municipality of WCDA's problem as the Legislature turns its back on the WCDA.


Meanwhile the MRRA continues to be showered with state and federal taxpayer dollars and heralded as creating a great many jobs, never mentioning the tax payer subsidies that are capitalizing jobs located in the town of MRRA. The most recent 50-page buget + annual report of the MRRA ,for the first time, does not report a negative on its bottom line, upgraded to a zero.in the year 2017. A quick scan reveals that reported revenues have decreased, salaries and hourly wages have increased, while expenses reported under personnel services and employee benefits are at an all time low, raising the suspicion that these costs are incorporated into state costs as opposed to being reported as MRRA expenses. With the town of MRRA being a newly concocted "municipal corporation serving as an instrumentality of the state" - anything goes. The advantage of public-private relationships is that their identities are so fluid.They can be public or private whenever or wherever. The same principal applies to municipal corporations serving as instruments of the state. Look at all the jobs MRRA creates! What does it cost the taxpayer? You'll never know! Time to change the subject! 

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