May 28--RUMFORD -- Work is underway on state-required changes at the former Amato's restaurant building beside Route 2 to relocate the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles office from Mexico.
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Tuesday in Augusta that the move is anticipated by late September.
Rumford selectmen facilitated the move on May 15 by amending the Tax-Increment Financing plan they awarded three years ago to Gateway Plaza LLC for Amato's, and giving Gateway a $40,000 loan.
"The original plan was Aug. 1, but there were some delays in getting the contracts signed," Dunlap said. "I would say by the end of September, certainly, we should be into the new branch space, depending, of course, on renovations getting done and a few other things."
Gateway Plaza is owned by David and Patricia Duguay of Byron and Stephen and Sandra Roderick of Oxford. David Duguay is also an Oxford County commissioner and Steve Roderick is the general manager and owner of Amato's in Norway.
Each owns 25 percent of the company that constructed and opened the Rumford Amato's in December 2011, and closed it in March 2013, David Duguay said.
Since then, the building has been for sale or lease.
A 10-year lease, pending state approval, was signed on April 4, Dave Duguay said last month.
Last fall, Duguay learned from River Valley legislators that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles couldn't renew its lease at its current location in Mexico because it's in the Androscoggin River flood zone.
Since October, Gateway Plaza had been negotiating with the state agency.
The block where Amato's is located is known as the Gateway Parcel and is one of Rumford's new TIF districts.
Following an executive session May 15, selectmen voted 5-0 to approve three motions made by Chairman Greg Buccina, according to draft minutes. These were:
-- To amend the Gateway Plaza Credit Enhancement Agreement from five to 11 years and to change the TIF percentage allocation for the company's share to 95 percent for the third year, 90 percent for the fourth year, 85 percent for the fifth year, 80 percent for the sixth year, 75 percent for the seventh year, 70 percent for the eighth year, 65 percent for the ninth year, 55 percent for the 10th year, and 50 percent for the 11th year.
-- To authorize the town manager to sign the Amended Credit Enhancement Agreement on behalf of Rumford.
-- To lend $40,000 to Gateway Plaza LLC at 3 percent interest compounded monthly and amortized over 10 years.
Rumford and Mexico Town Manager John Madigan said Gateway would be assessed at 100 percent of the property tax after year 10.
"Every bit of it was necessary so that (the Bureau of Motor Vehicles kept an office in the Rumford-Mexico area, otherwise we would have lost it to another area," Madigan said. "It's very important to keep them here."
Rumford Selectman Jeff Sterling said Thursday that the Mexico bureau would have been relocated to Farmington had selectmen not approved the motions.
"We couldn't let that happen," he said.
-- Mexico Bureau of Motor Vehicles moving to former Rumford Amato's building
(c)2014 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)
Visit the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine) at www.sunjournal.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services