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- Maine 04730 - United States
Are you ready to return to a real "home town", where you can safely walk the streets by day or night, from the historic downtown Market Square to our numerous lovely parks to home? We're located in the beautiful, clean and clear Northeast and offer many opportunities for personal and professional growth in a safe environment for you and your children.
Houlton offers a number of ways to assist a new business. Our strongest efforts to do that can be measured by our Commitment to Growth - the key to our vision statement. Our elected officials welcome growth and have demonstrated this by becoming financial partners with other companies, through State and local loan and Tax Increment Financing programs. A Company interested in locating in Houlton will find a Town committed to growth and, willing and able to back that commitment. Additionally, Houlton maintains a full time Community & Economic Development Office, Maintains membership in a both State-wide and regional development organizations and maintains strong financial and vigorous support for the local Chamber of Commerce.
Houlton's labor market currently shows an unemployment rate of 9.3%. This translates to 670 people listed as available for work. Historically, Houlton sees little turn-over in employees, making for stability in employment. Furthermore, ongoing training increases efficiency with the results being that one local company, The Smith & Wesson Co., recently gained ISO 9001 status. Houlton's labor force will commute: we are located in a rural area, one hour travel time is normal for us and allows the Company to attract workers from a greater distance than is possible in major urban areas.
The Town of Houlton historically works diligently to keep its property tax rate down by closely examining its operating costs and capital expenditures. This self examination has resulted in a stable tax rate while allowing the Town to invest in growth enhancing infrastructure and programs. Furthermore, the Town budget process provides for wise investment in Tax-Increment Financing or other programs and, as such, continuously looks for the right companies with which to become financial partners. As such, we will work with the Company to establish a Development District in which TIF can be used to help the Company finance its project.
Barring a major earthquake we will probably not get a seaport, however, we have everything else. We are located at the intersection of US Rts. 1 and I-95, US Rts. 1 and 2, and the I-95 and Trans-Canada Highway. We are served by Houlton International Airport, which is an excellent VFR facility with work in progress to become a precision approach airport. We are also served by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad and its freight handling subsidiary, Logistics Management Services. In addition, Houlton provides the major trunk line serving the telecommunications needs of all of Northern Maine. This NYNEX system contains fiber-optic cable with 56 Kilobytes per second Capacity. Aroostook Internet and GWABB Services provide Houlton with local phone access to the World Wide Web, e-mail, and other Internet services. For more information about any of these transportation systems.
The Houlton Water Company provides water, sewer, and electricity to the Town of Houlton. This is a Municipally owned Corporation, and as such, enjoys a considerable lower overhead than other utility companies in Maine. The company pays annual dividends of approximately $40,000 to the town which helps reduce property taxes. Because of this unique situation, Houlton residents and businesses enjoy the lowest electrical rates in Maine and competitive water and sewer rates. Water rates are dependent upon volume and sewer rates are based on water consumption.
The Town of Houlton, working with the State of Maine, offers a number of development incentives.
CDBG - The Town has in the past successfully competed for Economic Development Assistance through Maine's Community Development Block Grant Program. The State operated CDBG program offers specific programs to assist communities in attracting industry. These programs range in scope from low interest loans based on the needs of the company, to infrastructure enhancement grants to the community. The Town's Community & Economic Development Department's staff will work closely with the company to determine the most strategic approach, and will follow through with the necessary applications on behalf of the company. F.A.M.E. - The Finance Authority of Maine offers both direct loans and loan guarantees backed by Industrial Development Bonds. This agency has a long and successful history of business finance in the state with programs such as SMART-E Bond Financing for manufacturing. This program offers competitive terms with tax-exempt rates subject to market conditions at the time of issue. DECD - The State department of Economic and Community Development offers the relocating Company one-stop shopping in its permitting process, assistance in gaining necessary financing and other business assistance as needed.
NMDC - The Northern Maine Development Commission operates a number of programs designed to allow a business to get started and operating as quickly as possible. The most popular of these is the Commission's Revolving Loan Program. Targeted to manufacturing, this loan program is aimed at businesses which locate in Aroostook County. Other services offered by the Commission include operating the regional office of the Small Business Development Corporation, Coordinating local grant request to the State, packaging SBA loans and providing design and environmental assistance.
Tax Increment Financing - Although we have property taxes just like every other state, a new Maine state law allows a community to recapture a portion or all of these taxes to provide development assistance to a company. Since state law provides for a rebate on machinery and equipment, and allows a community to apply those taxes toward needed Company financing, a Company can effectively receive double benefit from its personal property taxes. This assistance can be used to help finance projects as diverse as construction to education and training of the Company's employees. The staff at Houlton's C&ED Dept. is experienced with this process and is ready to work with the Company should such a need arise.
Maine Invites you to have a great vacation. Whether you like peace and serenity or activity and an adrenaline rush, or a combination of both, Maine has the terrain, accommodations, attractions, cuisine, sophistication, culture, and history to please everyone.
The landscape of Maine is very special. Maine's coastline is very long and famous for its many inlets and harbors. But there are also beaches with soft, white sand. The many lakes throughout Maine are some of the cleanest and clearest, which makes them perfect for swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing, ice skating, ice fishing, and many other water sports.
If you are more of a mountain person, discover the many peaks that make up the Appalachian Trail that culminates at the top of Mt. Katahdin. Aside from the Appalachian Mountains, Maine has numerous other ranges, some of which are the homes to top New England ski facilities. On the hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails, you can snowmobile for days. These trails are also great for cross country skiing because the local snowmobile clubs maintain and groom the trails during the winter months.
Native Americans, both Micmacs and Maliseets, inhabited the area in pre-colonial times. Early 17th century French explorers, led by Samuel de Champlain and Sieur de Monts, first visited what is now Aroostook County in 1604. During the colonial period, the area was intermittently occupied by the French, British and their respective allies among the region's native residents until final French surrender in 1763.
During the Revolutionary War, the sparsely populated area was visited by expeditions from both American and British Canadian forces seeking to establish sovereignty. The 1783 Treaty of Versailles established Maine's eastern boundary at the St. Croix River. However, neither this agreement nor the subsequent 1815 Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812 established the northern and western borders satisfactorily, resulting in nearly a half-century of conflict -- the Aroostook War.
In 1837, Maine became the only state ever to declare war unilaterally when, in response to the arrest of a Maine official conducting a census in a disputed border area by New Brunswick officials, the legislature dispatched a force of 200 to the area which is now Aroostook County. Although tensions and actions escalated (Congress eventually appropriated $800,000 and raised 10,000 militia), the dispute was resolved bloodlessly with the negotiation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (adopted in 1842) finally establishing the border between the U.S. and Canada/Maine and New Brunswick, today the longest demilitarized boundary on Earth.
A large Franco-American community, with emigres from Acadia and Quebec, the St. John Valley provides a strong cultural influence on the entire region. While many Loyalists resettled from the area to New Brunswick and elsewhere in British Canada, a wave of settlement by Revolutionary War veterans seeking to establish farms brought the area's first boom in the early 19th Century. This was followed by a subsequent out-migration as even more fertile areas of the west opened to settlers.
Aroostook County's history is inextricably linked with its bounty of natural resources. "The Garden of Maine," The County offers significant crops of broccoli and peas, as well as its renowned potato crop. In addition to the role of agriculture, the forests and rivers of the region provided both raw material and energy to a nascent forest products industry which has evolved into a multi-million dollar economic bulwark. Today, both agriculture and forest products remain critical to the economy, but commercial competition from neighboring Canadian businesses and from agricultural and forest products industries in the Pacific Northwest has greatly affected the markets for Aroostook products.
While Aroostook County troops fought with distinction in the Civil War and all subsequent conflicts, the area's strategic significance became most critical during the Cold War. As the point in the continental U.S. closest to Western Europe and Eastern Bloc nations, Aroostook emerged as an important staging area for military preparations. With the tempering of relations between the U.S. and former Cold War enemies, the value of the region's strategic position diminished.
Distinguished Aroostook County citizens have included eight speakers of the Maine House of Representatives (from Llewellyn Powers in 1895 to Speaker, John L. Martin); six presidents of the Maine Senate; four governors of Maine (most recently John H. Reed of Fort Fairfield, 1959-66); five members of the U.S. House of Representatives and one U.S. Senator (Arthur R. Gould, 1926-31).