Auburn taxpayers should be aware of the on-going saga of the old Bates Mill No. 5 "Weave Shed." Taken over for non-payment of taxes back in 1992 by the City of Lewiston, the future of the chemical ridden, rickety old building has been the subject of fierce debate in Lewiston for 25 years. It seems to have multiple 'lives', and has escaped the wrecking ball at least twice since then. Despite admonishment to steer clear of the money pit by the former engineer from Bates Manufacturing, there is a core group of 'Number 5 - philes' who are on a dogged quest to save the creaking industrial structure.
To this point, the taxpayers of the City of Lewiston have had the huge costs of sustaining Bates No. 5 on their collective backs. In the event of a merger, that load gets transferred over, perhaps nearly 50% of it, to Auburn. We know of at least two, probably three, parking garages that will be picked up, partially, by Auburn taxpayers, certainly if they are built after January 2, 2020.
Bates Mill No. 5 is a perfect example of the mess that residents of either city can get involved in if they decide to take on the legal entanglements on-going in the other city. 'Let the voter beware!'