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Katahdin Region Comprehensive Plan creates efficiencies, opens up new funding opportunities

Posted on February 4, 2021 | Success Stories

The communities of East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket have collaborated on one of the  State of Maine’s first multi-jurisdictional comprehensive plans. Eastern Maine Development Corporation provided consulting services on the plan, which was adopted by local governments and created by community  members. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry officially approved the multi-jurisdictional  comprehensive plan, which serves as a map to the region’s future and acts as a guide for decision making. 

Comprehensive plans give municipalities preferred access to state grants and loans that will help fund desired capital  improvements, they also guide state capital investment towards locally-chosen growth areas. Policies and strategies  identified in the Katahdin Region comprehensive plan will boost economic development in a region that is  overcoming the loss of two paper mills. 

Realizing they had collective barriers to overcome and goals to achieve, East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket banded together to create cost efficiencies and promote future collaborations. Gathering public and regional  participation, the plan examines topics including: resources, population and demographics, housing, transportation,  popular industries, fiscal capacity and capital investment and existing and future land use.

Jane Danforth, project director for Thrive Penobscot, was one of many community members who collaborated with  EMDC to provide input. Her grassroots background of working on regional transportation initiatives was a valuable  addition to the transportation chapter of the plan. “A ton of work has been done on the Comprehensive Plan. It was  exciting to be involved and see it come together with the help of EMDC and their Community Planner, Anna  Stockman.” 

Collaboration among the three towns, coupled with local input from across the region, was a critical part of the plan’s  success. 

Fourteen non-profit and community-based organizations supported/provided support for the region’s vision  statement; 31 local goals were identified by the three towns; and 60 local policies were identified by the three towns.

“The Katahdin Region Comprehensive Plan is an example of EMDC working with several communities to promote a  collective effort to reach common goals,” says President & CEO Lee Umphrey. “This also reinforces EMDC’s  renewed endeavor, led by our Community Planner, Anna Stockman, to assist communities in establishing goals while  accessing and analyzing data to create outcome-based plans.”

Communities looking for assistance with  comprehensive plans and other services should visit EMDC’s website or email community@emdc.org.  

Eastern Maine Development Corporation is a non-profit that fosters public-private  partnerships and leverages resources to help communities, businesses and individuals reach long-term goals and  achieve prosperity.

The Bangor Daily News

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