Economic Development Forum
from the July 30th Meeting / Invitation to July 30th Meeting
/ Agenda of June 30th Meeting / Discussion
/ Meeting of June 9th / Meeting
of June 4th, 1997 / Meeting of May 28th, 1997
Notes from the July
This is the notes from the big
sheets of paper on the easel that the facilitator was writing on
and the notes taken by Eastport City Manager George Finch and
Director Dianne Tilton of the Sunrise County Economic Council.
Your typist especially hopes everyone who attended will
advise the typist of inaccuracies in putting down thoughts in
these notes so that they can be revised accordingly. Please
see the meeting results at the end of this page for what may be
expected to happen next.
|Community Cooperation & Tourism
- Externally - Maine as a whole -
- Transportation Weaknesses?
- What happens Bar Harbor to
Eastport? The [Department of Transportation?] [is
planning for] Nova Scotia to be linked to Maine
at Bar Harbor. High speed ferries have been
suggested to bring people up the coast to Bar
Harbor. There has been no suggestion that these
ferries should run to Eastport to bring people
further up the coast. This plan should be altered
and expanded to redistribute tourists to
Washington County rather than divert them from
- What's happening [already] in
Washington County? What do we already have?
- Marketing was repeatedly
emphasized as critical. Especially finding
markets that fit what we have to offer. We need
to promote general information about the area and
market to airport, boat and road traffic. There
are opportunities for marketing tourism in marine
resources, Elder Hostel groups and bus tours.
- We need to inventory information
on the area so we can market what we have.
- How much and what kind of
development should be encouraged in this area.
- A resource person: Charles Colgan
of the Muskie Institute at the University of
- Day Trips from Bangor and St.
- Environmentally driven tourism or
Eco-Tourism as important.
- The organization factor is
extremely important in order to meet a market
- How do people get to the state and
to Washington County now?
- For each type of Tourism there is
a type of Marketing. Types might include
destination, seasonal, day trip, "eco",
cultural, and repeat tourism.
- What can we do for the tourists
who are already here so they will want to come
back and will recommend us.
- Marketing to "fly-in"
visitors from Boston, etc. Packages for them?
- Elder Hostel was very successful.
We need a program.
|Education & Youth
- Maine Rural Development - August
7th meeting at University of Maine at Machias on
"Making a Living in Washington County".
- High school education is important
and has failed the young people who need it most.
We have heard about the problems. Now we need to
- Teaching how our economy works.
Economic literacy programs are needed for both
young people and as an adult education program.
- Ask the youth what they need.
- What are we doing to address
education in the economic sectors already present
and functioning here.
- Stable home? [Many problems are
family oriented. What can we do to promote a
better environment for families to stabilize
- Learning results implementation.
- Academic standards / performance
standards are needed.
- What should curriculum content be?
- We need broad involvement.
- We need more stress on the ability
to organize and present information.
- We should promote job shadowing.
- Youth & adult "area of
- Three day courses [for visitors,
Elder Hostel, etc.]
- Marine Trades Center
- While educational issues are
national, the solutions must be local.
- We must have a local economy which
allows youths to stay if they wish.
|Infrastructure & Transportation
- Sewer, water & electric all
have problems that need to be addressed already.
Wright-Pierce has been hired to address sewer
- What does it make sense to do.
- Transportation system a priority.
Without the roads tough to get development.
- A great port is being built but
the land access is poor.
- Calais to Brewer rail line?
- Calais to Eastport rail line?
- Highway proposals from the group
included: A four lane coastal highway by adding
two lanes parallel to the existing highway. A two
lane highway with passing lanes on hills. A two
lane highway with better shoulders or breakdown
lanes on sides. It was generally conceded that a
four lane highway was not possible to sell to the
- Downeast Route 1 Corridor
- Route 9 Corridor Committee.
- Point out the needs of the Port.
It is the second deepest port in the United
- Rail Committee. We must link all
the way to Albany, New York.
- We must supply the vision locally
or none of these projects will get done.
- In infrastructure, if you look at
just yourself you lose the assets around you.
- We must market to the whole area.
- We must kick NYNEX hard on
communications, providing the relevant business
reasons and doing so in a public manner.
- In fiberoptic communications
redundant routes are important if you wish to
attract communications dependent businesses.
- Airport: There were no
representatives of the Airport Advisory Committee
present. However the following points were
- The airport is a big resource of
the city. We must learn to market and utilize it.
- It was suggested that as the best
airport in Washington County and the only one
with fuel it might be possible to locate an
aircraft maintenance and repair business there
which would not only provide jobs but also
attract pilots and their families to Eastport.
The point was made in the meeting that the
nearest full fledged maintenance outfit is in Bar
Harbor. (However an Airport Advisory Committee
member has suggested since the meeting that it
should be borne in mind that there are a few
mechanics servicing aircraft on an "out of
the truck" basis in Washington County. So
such a business could not count on getting all
the business by any means.)
- A UPS or FedEx facility was
suggested as a possibility to service Washington
- Aircraft painting was mentioned as
a possibility that a local business is prepared
to expand into if a building were available at
the airport to do it in.
- The possibility of locating a kit
plane manufacturer here was mentioned. The point
was made that most kit plane manufacturers are
located in small towns that happen to have really
- The point was raised that perhaps
a "spec" building at the airport,
capable of housing some of the above businesses,
should be built to attract them.
- There was some discussion as to
whether the Port Authority should take over
responsibility for the airport. The Port Director
suggested that there was so much to be done
regarding the Port and transport to it that it
would be better for the airport to keep a
separate governing body.
- It was pointed out that the
present Airport Advisory Committee had done such
a good job that any plans for the airport would
be best if they were endorsed and supported by
- It was emphasized that the airport
needed a strong advocate
- (Subsequent conversation with an
Advisory Committee member developed the
additional suggestions that rental cars and other
increased facilities to welcome pilots might well
increase traffic and visits to the City
dramatically over time.)
- Trolley Bus tours were suggested
as a business which might be well received in the
summer months and provide an additional useful
business for Eastport.
- We should try to learn what the
traffic into Eastport is now.
- Copies of the 1979 Waterfront
Development Plan should be located and examined
for possible revisions and implementation.
- It was pointed out that the City
is responsible for the Inner Basin and yacht
traffic, not the Port Authority. If yacht
traffic, charter yachts & moderate sized
passenger carrying vessels are to be attracted
there must be some group in charge of this
|Marine Resources & Environment
- Clam Acreage has increased by 500
- Carrying Place Cove has been
producing $10,000 per month since December.
- Different marketing efforts for
clams are needed.
- Market research.
- Local Clams in local restaurants.
- The next problem: Scallops &
- The scallop season opens later in
the rest of the state because of the gear
conflict with lobstermen.
- This means that very large numbers
of boats come to Eastport when the season opens
and clean out the resource within 3 to 7 days.
This has not been solved yet.
- Progress has been made in that
drags have been restricted to 5' wide and 3 rings
deep in the Cobscook Bay area.
- There has been some increase in
- Ground fish stocks remain a
- There is hand lining for cod in
very small numbers.
- Aquaculture: Small companies have
been going out. The Chilean price problem
- We should be processing fish
locally and making sure we are promoting local
consumption as much as possible as well.
- We should pursue Cobscook Bay
"branding" and water certification.
- The distribution system needs to
be refined to distribute locally.
- We need the legal structure in
place to allow fishermen to act on their
- We need to stabilize supply.
- There must be direct local
involvement in resource management decisions.
Bottom up management is the best way to protect
- What can we expect from these
- We must concern ourselves with
both private aquaculture such as the fish farms
and public aquaculture such as using seeding and
hatchery programs to increase stocks for
- Yacht Traffic & Moorage: It
was proposed that studies should be done for
inexpensive floating breakwater systems which
would allow the downtown to have protected
moorings and protected areas for docks and
marinas to develop. Further Coves around the
island could be made into ideal harbors for yacht
and commercial moorings, etc. with floating
- Suppression of Growth
Through High Interest Rates - Economists
tell us that raising interest rates reduces
growth and lowering interest rates increases
growth. We know that Washington County has the
highest interest rates in the state and more than
twice the unemployment rate of the rest of the
state. We understand the reasons that the banks
by themselves cannot lower interest rates even as
they acknowledge the present rates are
destabilizing businesses. Until local, State and
federal efforts reduce interest rates we are
trying to run a car with a foot on the gas and a
foot on the break. When State or federal backed
loans would be available at a lower interest
rate, if the business did not already have
financing, Washington County businesses
should be allowed to refinance at the lower rate.
- Community Based Lending -
The regular banking system cannot meet the needs
of Eastport and Washington County as a whole we
need more revolving loan programs, credit groups,
and other local programs.
- Youth & Adult Economic
Literacy - Courses in how our economy
works and how to profit by it are virtually
non-existent for both adults and young people.
Entrepreneurship courses offered an hour to an
hour and a half away at minimum are not even
heard about let alone practical for working
people to attend. These programs should be community
based. The National Foundation for Teaching
Entrepreneurship got its start translating the
principles taught in the Harvard Master of
Business Administration graduate program to be
taught with great success to inner city
disadvantaged high school students in remedial
math classes. A program similar to NFTE should be
in every high school in Washington County.
- The state does not have the tools
in place to develop small businesses. The state
is much more interested in businesses large
enough so that the loss of one of them can
devastate a community.
- We also need to find the existing
businesses that have managed to survive despite
these problems find out more about how they have
done it and what they need to expand further.
- We need to identify products and
services being bought from other areas which
could be supplied here.
- We need a database of
businesses that Eastport needs so that
they can be suggested to local people who want to
start a business or to people who wish to move
here to start a business. It was suggested that
there is an increasing market for handyman, yard
work and landscaping services.
- Opportunities should be explored
for using local resources to form "virtual
companies" to develop and market products
that no one business is large enough to
Results of the July 30th Meeting
The meeting agreed to divide
into five subgroups chaired by people with expertise in each
area. This groups are to meet as much as they wish and consult
with whomever they wish. The groups will be polled by the Forum's
typist (Thomas A. MacNaughton) on or about August 15th for
progress reports. On the basis of the progress reports and in
consultation with the chairpersons of the subgroups the typist
will then set a time for the next full Forum meeting.
The chairpersons are:
||Community Cooperation & Tourism
||Education & Youth
||Transportation & Infrastructure
||Marine Resources & Environment
Each group is charged to
develop possible strategies over a five to ten year horizon to
meet the perceived needs in their respective areas. These will be
divided into what can be handled locally and what we need to push
up the line to the state and federal levels.
The next full meeting of the
Forum will explore what strategies are best handled by existing
community groups and which require a new structure to be
To Meeting of June 24th (the
Discussion Paper) / Meeting of June 9th / Wednesday
June 4th Meeting / Wednesday May 28th
Back to Eastport Economic and Demographic Information / Back to Eastport
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