Northern Maine Development Commission board chooses Cyr as next chairman

6 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — Bicycles and new board members highlighted Northern Maine Development Commission’s annual meeting, held Thursday, June 21 at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.

Member representatives elected Dave Cyr, Mars Hill Town Manager, as Chairperson; Gary Picard, Town Manager of Madawaska, as Vice-Chair; Nancy Troeger, Van Buren Town Manager, as Treasurer; and Dave Dionne, Mapleton Town Manager, as Secretary.

New Executive Board members approved include: Mitch Butler of Fort Fairfield, Beverly Fournier of Winterville, Reed Plantation Town Manager Diane Hines, St. Agatha Town Manager Aubrie Michaud, Tom Pelletier of Fort Kent; Washburn Town Manager Donna Turner, Michael Tweedie of Blaine and Wallagrass Town Manager Lana Voisine.

Also, at the meeting two NMDC employees were recognized for their commitment to the organization. Dave Spooner of the Business Finance Division was lauded for his 20 years at NMDC and Joella Theriault of the Planning and Development Division for 25 years.

The meeting concluded with a presentation by MaryBeth Luce of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. She detailed the many programs and initiatives of the coalition, but the crux of her talk focused on the upcoming BikeMaine ride to be held in Aroostook County in September.

Luce is the BikeMaine ride director and has spent a considerable amount of time in the region in preparation for the event, which will bring 450 riders and dozens of support staff to Central Aroostook and the St. John Valley from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15.

“Cyclists will ride 50 miles every day and stop in host communities for overnight stays,” Luce said. “They’ll spend their days shopping and eating at local businesses and restaurants and many of them have already made their own hotel arrangements instead of staying at the campsites, which will provide even greater economic benefits to host communities.”

In 2017, the BikeMaine ride downstate brought in $660,000 of direct economic benefits to its host communities in Somerset County. In the past five years, it has contributed $2.3 million to the state’s economy.

Presque Isle, Caribou, Madawaska, Fort Kent and St. Agatha all will serve as host communities for the cyclists during the trip, which organizers call “BikeMaine 2018: Acadia in the St. John Valley — La Terre Entre Deux.” In each town, staff members and volunteers will set up outside “tent villages” for the cyclists and provide food from local farmers and businesses as well as entertainment.

Submitted by the Planning, Workforce and Economic Development division of Northern Maine Development Commission.