H.R. 1177 directs the Secretary of Agriculture to remove a deed restriction on land that was conveyed from the federal government to the city of Old Town, Maine so that the city can move forward with economic development plans that would, purportedly, create 175 new jobs.
The Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act authorizes the federal government to acquire damaged lands for the purpose of rehabilitating the space for various programs, mostly related to farming. Some of the land purchased was in Old Town, Maine. In the early 1980’s, this land in Old Town was sold to be used as part of the Old Town Airport with the stipulation that it be used strictly for that purpose, due to requirements in law under the Farm Tenant Act.
Recently, officials in Old Town expressed interest in developing portions of the land adjacent to the airport for commercial use to attract businesses. However, antiquated restrictions on the deed would prevent the site from being used for these businesses. H.R. 1177 would effectively remove such restrictions.