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Klapmeier Not Married To Maine For Kestrel Plant

City In Wisconsin Is Pitching For The Business

Alan Klapmeier's Kestrel airplane company, which was touted as one of the inaugural tenants for the newly re-developed Naval Air Station in Brunswick, ME, may not settle there after all. The city of Superior, WI, plans to make a bid for Kestrel, and the 300-600 jobs it would bring over the next several years.

Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority executive director Steve Lavesque told the Bangor Daily News late last week that he was aware of the planned January 16th public hearing in Superior, WI, in which an incentive package for Kestrel would be discussed. Klapmeier had said as early as October that some Kestrel jobs might be located outside Maine because expected funding from CEI Capital Management of Maine did not come through. Klapmeier has also reportedly been in discussions with officials in Berlin, New Hampshire.

Lavesque told the paper that Brunswick has a lot of things in its favor, such as proximity to the Southern Maine Community College, a trained workforce, and the so-called "composites alliance" which would assist in producing the Kestrel. But he also said Maine is not always as competitive as other locations when it comes to incentives. Still, Lavesque said he had been working closely with Klapmeier on the project, was aware of the ongoing negotiations, but thinks the CEO "truly wants to be in Maine. It's just a short-term funding issue we have to find a way to overcome."

Lavesque said everybody is "trying to steal jobs" in this sluggish economy.

FMI: www.kestrel.aero, www.mrra.us

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