AUGUSTA – A proposal to turn abandoned state buildings into housing for homeless veterans of the U.S. armed services won approval from the Legislative Council during an appeal hearing.
Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta)’s bill was originally rejected on Oct. 30 by Democrats who control the council, but won unanimous approval Thursday.
According to Wilson, the bill will allow the Bureau of General Services to sell two buildings that were formerly part of the Augusta Mental Health Institute campus to Bread of Life Ministries, a non-profit veterans’ organization.
The buildings are currently scheduled for demolition.
If Wilson’s bill does not pass the full Legislature, taxpayers will pay $100,000 to have the buildings turned to rubble.
“This is a no-brainer; a win-win for Maine taxpayers and veterans,” said Wilson, himself a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“After the bill was turned down, I met with [House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick)] and explained to him the importance of this proposal,” he said. “I’m glad that he and the rest of the Democratic leaders switched their votes and let my bill move forward.”
Maine Wire Reporter