The Star-Herald

Downtown Presque Isle’s 30-year vision

Momentum is building to revitalize downtown Presque Isle.  The City of Presque Isle has been formulating a new 30-year vision to address economic reinvestment within our downtown.

That is why the city council is now reviewing the draft 2020 Downtown Redevelopment Plan for their Sept. 2 meeting.

The Downtown Redevelopment Plan is a forward-thinking and easy-to-read document that catalogs Presque Isle’s current assets of businesses, recreational offerings, public infrastructure, transportation and community assets.  What makes this plan truly special is that it establishes easy-to-understand goals that address challenges facing the city. 

Many of these goals are ambitious and will require community support in delivering results.  Unlike past comprehensive planning efforts, this plan was forged by hands-on participation by small business owners, community stakeholders, elected officials, and citizen volunteers in creating a new vision for downtown Presque Isle.  Drafted goals include exploring safer improvements for the Mechanic Street five-point intersection, updating sidewalks, offering free downtown wi-fi to shoppers, establishing a new arts & culture district, creating new water attractions on the Presque Isle Stream, expanding the PI Farmer’s Market and so much more. 

To help complete these goals, property revenues located within the downtown tax increment financing district will see their portion of improved value sheltered into a special TIF fund that the city council will earmark to complete projects as revenue is available.  A downtown TIF district has attractive incentives for new and current businesses who reinvest into their properties to improve operations while not raising their tax bills.  Unlike other municipal TIF districts in Aroostook County, the Presque Isle downtown TIF district expands a much larger geographic region and will be one of the most aggressive revitalization efforts in The County. 

Presque Isle’s 30-year vision will attract new talent and businesses to our downtown, but our work as a community is not finished once this plan has been adopted by the city council. Our journey has just begun.  

Talented and passionate volunteers will be needed to serve on the various working groups to assist in implementing our 2050 vision.  Whether your passions are in agriculture, arts, business, construction, culture, engineering, finance, history, law, recreation or the sciences, everyone is welcome to lend a hand in building a more prosperous Presque Isle.  

If you would like to review a copy of the draft Downtown Redevelopment Plan or be part of this important movement, please call 207-760-2727 or email gweibley@presqueisleme.us.  We look forward to having you as part of Presque Isle’s new vision for 2050.

Galen Weibley is Presque Isle’s director of economic and community development. He can be reached at 760-2727 or via email at gweibley@presqueisleme.us.

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