Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor are closing in on a consensus on regional economic growth priorities. On July 23, Boothbay Harbor selectmen identified broadband, housing diversity and availability, and downtown development and waterfront management.
On July 25, it was Boothbay’s turn. In a workshop before their board meeting, selectmen picked housing, regional collaboration and broadband. The boards identified their priorities at the Joint Economic Development Committee’s request.
Nearly three years ago, the two towns formed the committee to promote regional economic growth. In July 2017, the committee hired Camoin Associates to study regional assets and develop a long range plan. Camoin took a 90-minute van tour last summer with JEDC members. Last fall, Camoin issued a report with 63 priorities. Both select boards reviewed the report and recently narrowed priorities to three each. The boards will hold a joint workshop and develop a consensus priority list.
The JEDC plans to incorporate both boards’ combined list into an action plan for regional economic growth.
During the board meeting, Boothbay selectmen reviewed a banner request for the new light posts. During the Route 27 Redevelopment Project, 57 new light posts were installed. Each includes space for a banner. The Boothbay Food and Music Festival asked to place promotional banners on the posts.
The town has no ordinance or guidelines for banner use. Selectmen briefly discussed the request prior to tabling it. Discussion centered around how long a banner remained before and after an event, who would place banners, and a fee schedule.
Selectmen directed Town Manager Dan Bryer to seek opinions from the Maine Municipal Association, municipal lawyer Sally Daggett, and other towns with similar lamp posts. “Lisbon is a comparable size town which has these type of lamp posts. I will check to see how they handled banners for the recent Moxie festival,” Bryer said.
Boothbay is seeking a new JEDC representative to replace Abbé Levin who recently resigned. She was one of Boothbay's four original members appointed in 2015 and served as the committee's co-chairman. The town is also seeking volunteers to serve on the Clifford Park Redevelopment Committee. Selectmen directed Bryer to advertise seeking members for both committees.
Selectmen also unanimously approved a Holyoke, Massachusetts woman’s request to donate a granite bench. Candida Johnson received approval to donate a bench in memory of her parents, Verdenal (Hoag) Johnson and Edward F. Johnson. In a letter, Johnson described why her family wanted to make the donation. “After spending every summer for more than 45 years on Grimes Avenue, my parents' request was that we place a granite bench in their memory on Ocean Point Walk.”
Johnson’s request still needs Department of Environmental Protection approval. Johnson told selectmen she plans to visit Boothbay the week of Aug. 6. Johnson also expects to the attend the next board meeting.
Selectmen will meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 in the municipal conference room.