St. John Valley

Grand Plan Madawaska: Shaping the next decade

MADAWASKA, Maine – Madawaska is moving forward with a planning initiative to help guide the community over the next 10 years. Grand Plan Madawaska is a strategic planning initiative to shape a thriving and vibrant future for the town, which will include a 10-year roadmap that focuses on business growth and economic development, quality of life and place, and leadership for regional development.

The team overseeing the planning process is composed of town staff, consultants, a steering committee and a youth advisory group.

“The aim of Grand Plan Madawaska is to help strengthen the community and region, realize progress and prosperity, and create conditions for great things to happen,” said Ryan D. Pelletier, town manager.

The work builds upon a concept draft paper the town commissioned in 2016 under the direction of local consultant Sheila Jans, which prompted the determination to develop a strategic plan for the community.

“Our goal is to imagine what is possible and develop an action plan that galvanizes community and economic prosperity and sustainability for Madawaska,” Jans stated.

The process will examine Madawaska’s relationship within the region, county and international area; entrepreneurship and prosperity; education and workforce; making and imagination; community, culture, and place; youth population growth; collaboration and connection; and the role of municipal government.

“I think for years, Madawaska has been known as a mill town, but what does that really mean?” Pelletier said.” We have a large employer for the entire region that happens to be a mill. It’s great, but we are so much more than that and we can be even more if we develop the roadmap and execute the plan to get us to where we want to be.”

In addition to the strategic planning, the town will define its mission, vision and guiding principles; examine issues and identify strategies and resources; establish action steps with realistic goals and objectives; set a timeframe for implementation; and identify ways to measure success and adapt to change.

“The journey is as equally important as the final destination, and we know there will be roadblocks, U-turns, and bridges to cross before we get to the end but we have a dedicated group to get us where we want to be,” Pelletier said.

Jans indicated the process involves many steps, such as understanding the community and how to draw connections and leverage them for new opportunities. The process includes extensive research, assessment and analysis, and engages local and area residents, the private and public sector, and regional/county/state stakeholders.

For more information, interested individuals should contact Pelletier at the town office at 728-6351 or by email at  Information regarding Grand Plan Madawaska can also be accessed at the Town’s website:

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