NMDC chooses officers, previews Visitors Guide

Northern Maine Development Commission members had a first look at the new Aroostook County Tourism Visitors Guide, which was unveiled during the NMDC’s June 22 annual meeting in Presque Isle.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A completely redesigned Aroostook County Tourism Visitors Guide and the acceptance of the Northern Maine Development Commission’s Annual Report highlighted the organization’s annual meeting held Thursday, June 22 at Northern Maine Community College.

  NMDC member representatives were shown a digital copy of the new guide by Matt Kovacevich, Account Director for Thalo Blue Design, LLC. Thalo Blue revamped the region’s 68-page visitor guide, updating the editorial content and sold advertising in the guide.

 Kovacevich said he and his partner Catherine Creighton were excited to be given the opportunity to create a piece that spotlights the region’s unique character and share with potential visitors to The County an authentically Maine experience.

 He added the publication is currently being printed and will soon be shipped to NMDC in Caribou for distribution.

Also at the meeting, NMDC staff presented on highlights from the previous fiscal year contained in the Annual Report. Dave Spooner, Loan Officer and Director of Business Development, said the Business Finance Division closed 36 loans totaling $1,634,514 in fiscal year 2016-17. Those loans helped created 24 jobs and retained about 148. He added lending activities were County wide and even into Washington County.

 Alain Ouellette, Director of the Planning and Development Division, continued on the economic development theme discussing three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects in the region, two in the Mars Hill area and another potential TIF in Caribou. He also highlighted a façade improvement project in Ashland, the 27 municipalities assisted through the Community Development Block Grant technical assistance program and successes in the Brownfields program returning contaminated properties to the tax rolls.

Dana Delano, Procurement and Technical Assistance (PTAC) Manager, outlined his program’s activities in the past 12 months. He said he provided 523 hours of counseling time to help businesses secure government contracts. He also assisted 101 unique clients, resulting in more than $37-million in federal, state and local awards in Washington and Aroostook counties.

Also at the Annual Meeting, the NMDC officers were selected. Jim Risner, Town Manager of Fort Fairfield, is Chairperson. Keith Brown of Washburn is the Vice-Chair. Dave Cyr, Town Manager of Mars Hill is Treasurer and new Van Buren Town Manager Nancy Troeger is Secretary.

Delano and Jon Gulliver were also recognized at the meeting for five years of service to NMDC.

Earlier in the day the NMDC Executive Board met and approved a new member to the Aroostook County Tourism board. J.J. Roy, owner of the Inn of Acadia in Madawaska is the newest representative to the standing committee of NMDC, which oversees tourism marketing efforts in the region.

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