Economic Development Update/ Summer News
June 29, 2017 – TOWN OF MILLINOCKET & OUR KATAHDIN FORM A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Town of Millinocket and Our Katahdin, a regional nonprofit, have formalized a three-year agreement to collaborate on the redevelopment of the Millinocket mill site to benefit the people of the Katahdin region.
From the beginning of its acquisition of GNP West Inc., Our Katahdin has worked closely with members of the Town Council and the management of the Town to structure a partnership that would leverage the existing 1,400 acre mill site and other property holdings in the best interest of the community. “As a nonprofit organization, the goal of our acquisition of the former mill site was to put this unique industrial asset in the hands of our community and to partner together with the Town and with companies who can leverage these industrial assets for redevelopment,” said Mike Osborne, Vice President of Our Katahdin. “This partnership is critical, as together we are stronger in developing a comprehensive plan and marketing our future”.
The framework of the partnership established between the parties includes the transfer of real estate properties adjacent to the Millinocket airport. “This land is pivotal for the growth and development of the region’s airport and to attract additional funding to expand the aviation services to the region,” said Michael Madore, Chairman of the Millinocket Town Council. The transfer of this property is in exchange for a portion of the past-due real estate taxes that were inherited by Our Katahdin as part of the acquisition of GNP West. “Access to developable land is key to the economic future of the region, and with this newly acquired land from Our Katahdin, the Town has an opportunity to develop this property further through federal and state grants, attracting aviation businesses, and general aviation traffic,” said John Davis, Millinocket Town Manager.
Additional terms of the partnership include the establishment of a joint Economic Development Committee that will provide strategic guidance to redevelopment activities on the former Millinocket mill site for an initial period of three years. The committee will consist of members of the Our Katahdin board and representatives appointed by the Town of Millinocket. The structure of the agreement includes regular meetings to define redevelopment priorities and potential business prospects, to leverage the unique capabilities of a municipality and a nonprofit in incentivizing redevelopment, and to ensure business development remains in the best interest of the community.
Our Katahdin has agreed to continue to provide community and economic development services to the Katahdin region through its six board members and five full-time staff, and has provided the Town of Millinocket an option on the Millinocket mill site to ensure stewardship of this industrial asset remains in the hand of the community.
To celebrate this partnership, the Town of Millinocket and Our Katahdin invite the public to join a signing ceremony that will take place immediately following the 4th of July parade. The signing ceremony will be held at the Administration Building at 1 Katahdin Avenue in Millinocket. To celebrate a new beginning, we will raise the flag of the United States of America on the flagpole at the Administration Building, which has been without a flag for close to 10 years.
June 1, 2017 – Our Katahdin recently received some great news. They have just been awarded a $200,000 Brownfield grant for the Miller’s building renovation. Katahdin Valley Health is building a new facility adjacent to the main building on Aroostook Ave. Also, the cleanup of the bowling alley is in progress.
As you may have heard, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan recently visited Millinocket. They stayed at 5 Lakes Lodge where they celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. While they were visiting, they made time to visit with some locals. They met at designlab with a variety of people, former mill workers, a truck driver, a librarian (our very own Matt) some teachers and members of Katahdin Revitalization and Our Katahdin. While specifics of the conversation remain private, the visit was unexpected and a great surprise. We are told Mark and Priscilla were very kind, thoughtful, genuine and engaged. We hope they will come back to visit the region soon. We are thankful for all the attention our town has received because of their visit.
Jesse Dumais recently resigned from the Town Council because he has been hired as our town tax collector. While we are sorry to lose him as a council member, we are excited for him to start his career for the town. Thank you for all your hard work on the council, Jesse. We know you will do a great job for the town of Millinocket in your new role.
Happy retirement to Roxanne Johnson! You have done a fantastic job as Town Clerk and we will miss you. Also, good luck to Diana Campbell, who is now the new Town Clerk. We know you will be wonderful in your new role.
We would like to welcome Knife Edge Trading Post to our local business community. We are excited for them and wish them a lot of success. We would like to remind the business community that on the Millinocket.org website we have an online data base http://millinocket.org/business/business-in-millinocket/ if you need anything updated for your business or have a business you would like to add please email email@example.com and we will update it for you.