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February 8, 2018

Boothbay region drafts plan to bolster economy

Business and community leaders throughout the Boothbay region are working together to draft an economic development and strategy action plan to bolster the local economy in the short and long term.

The Boothbay Register reported the plan's goals include promoting the region as "open for business" as well as working with marine-based businesses to address workforce recruitment, helping young people to find their vocations through school programs and identifying funds for training in businesses that distinguish the region from others. The plan identifies other top issues, including affordable housing, downtown and waterfront development, tourism infrastructure maintenance, regional transportation and regional collaboration.

Proposed actions to address various issues included updating regulations and identifying and reinforcing existing assets.

During a meeting hosted by the Joint Economic Development Committee to finalize the plan, business leaders and community members were skeptical that without hiring a staff planner and economic developer, community leaders would not find the time or resources to see the plan through.

Jim Damicis of Camoin Associates, one of the committee's plan development partners, suggested that the region hire a full-time staff member with planning and economic development experience and knowledge.

"One thing is very clear, is if we want economic development on this peninsula, we're competing with almost every other town in Maine," said Joint Economic Development Committee co-chair Wendy Wolf.

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