January 16

Farmington officials hope 10,000 brochures will kickstart development

A proposed economic development committee and the brochure buy are the latest initiatives in the towns efforts to advertise the town and spur economic boost.

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

In an ongoing effort to promote Farmington and spur development, town officials have bought 10,000 brochures promoting the community and are proposing to create an economic development committee.

click image to enlarge

POPULAR SPOT: Chris Giemza walks past popular businesses Java Joes and Mooseville in downtown Farmington this week. Town officials are hoping new initiatives, including prochures and a proposed economic development committee, will bring new businesses and residents to town.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

DOWNTOWN: Traffic moves through downtown Farmington this week. Town officials are hoping new initiatives, including prochures and a proposed economic development committee, will bring new businesses and residents to town.

Staff photo by David Leaming

Selectmen will hold a public information next month to gauge interest in forming a town economic development committee.

The brochures cost $3,000 to print and another $3,000 for the design, money for both coming from a tax increment financing district.

The brochuress and committee are the latest in a series of Farmington economic initiatives in the past year, including forming a downtown tax increment financing district, commissioning a consulting company for a downtown development plan, applying to be a business friendly certified community and launching a new website.

Town Manager Richard Davis said at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting that the committee would work with local economic groups like Greater Franklin Development Corporation to further community development.

Davis said he envisioned the committee as a grassroots group of business leaders and residents “that arise to meet a need in the community.” The information meeting on the committee will be 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Town Office

The brochure and committee are part of a variety of town efforts to attract businesses and residents.

Selectmen were given examples of different economic development committees in Maine, including Bath, Falmouth, New Gloucester, South Portland and Waterboro.

Fairfield Town Manager Josh Reny said his town has had an economic development committee for several years, made up of six residents appointed by the town council.

“It considers itself to be an open council and encourages and welcomes other residents to attend and participate in its meetings,” he said.

Reny said the committee meets monthly to develop downtown projects and give advisory reports to town officials, particularly on projects funded from tax increment financing districts. He said the group was instrumental in bringing back the Fairfield Days Community Festival, held in late June.

The town also intends to hand out the first round of new brochures encouraging business owners, new residents and visitors to come to Farmington.

Franklin Printing on Wilton Road is printing the brochures, and the money is coming from a tax increment financing district, in which the town gives a percentage of tax money back to the business over a limited period.

The brochure’s content includes a map of the area highlighting town features, notes about local history and testimonials from local residents and business owners.

Chairman Ryan Morgan said the brochures will market the community, and highlights what drew residents and businesses to the town.

“We all live here for a reason,” Morgan said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 kschroeder@centralmaine.com

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