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Anniversary Park dedicated

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) (second from left) with Auburn municipal leaders in front of the St. Louis Bell Tower at the dedication of Anniversary Park in Auburn on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Senator Collins)

From Senator Collins

AUBURN – Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) attended the grand opening and dedication ceremony for Anniversary Park and the St. Louis Bell Tower in Auburn last Saturday.

During the event, Senator Collins delivered remarks and participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Bell Tower. Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, municipal leaders, local business owners, residents, and city staff were also at the ceremony.  

 “The combination of traditional values and progress is evident throughout Auburn. The campaign to build this beautiful bell tower was generously supported by local individuals and businesses,” said Senator Collins. “The vision of the city’s leaders and its citizens is revitalizing New Auburn Village Center, and Anniversary Park is the centerpiece of the entire redevelopment plan. The federal Opportunity Zones initiative I supported as part of the 2017 tax reform law will boost the private investment that is crucial to this renaissance.”

 New Auburn is part of an Opportunity Zone, which were created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to help revitalize and encourage long-term investments in underdeveloped communities.

Additionally, Senator Collins worked with the City of Auburn to secure more than $246,000 in Northern Border Regional Commission funds to help build the infrastructure serving the businesses and residents around the park.

 Formerly known as Little Androscoggin “Andy” Park, the park was renamed “Anniversary Park” in recognition of the City’s 150th anniversary in 2019.

The redesigned park is part of a broader $3.5 million revitalization project along the waterfront in an area known as New Auburn. The project also included the construction of the Bell Tower, which is now the second tallest monument in Maine. For nearly a century, the bells served the community in the tower of the landmark St. Louis Church before being installed in the new Bell Tower.

The bells were cast in the world-famous Paccard Bell Foundry of Annecy, France, and arrived in Auburn in October 1916. The St. Louis Church opened in 1915 and closed after a final mass in 2013. An investment group purchased the building in 2014, but failed to find another use for the building and turned the church over to the City of Auburn in foreclosure in early 2019.

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