Presque Isle’s economic director resigns to take job in Kennebunkport

7 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Economic and Community Development Director Galen Weibley is resigning after four years in Presque Isle.

Weibley is leaving to become Kennebunkport’s director of planning and development.

“It’s been a wonderful four years being with the city of Presque Isle,” Weibley said. “I still love this community and it has been a great community to work for.”

Weibley said he wants to be closer to his family, who live in Pennsylvania. His last day on the job in Presque Isle will be Dec. 28.

Weibley spearheaded $21.7 million in commercial activity projects during his tenure, with permitting fees offsetting the economic development costs for the city, he said.

The city hasn’t determined when Weibley’s position will be filled, but city officials said they plan on going through the first quarter of 2024 without an Economic and Community Development Director.

“We were certainly disappointed, Galen has been here for a little over four years and he has done a fantastic job for the city,” said Interim City Manager Lewis Cousins.

Cousins was on the hiring committee when Presque Isle hired Weibley in 2019. Weibley was chosen out of a field of eight candidates for the position.

When Weibley first moved to Presque Isle from Pennsylvania, the downtown area had more than 10 vacant storefronts. Now there are two vacant storefronts on the city’s Main Street that still need renovations.

“Presque Isle has all the big city amenities that you would think of but yet it still has that close [tight-knit] community,” Weibley said. 

Weibley said he will give the city a list of projects he is involved with including the Echo Lake sewer system redesign and ongoing downtown facade program projects like the recent exterior renovations to KMH Music on the city’s Main Street.

Weibley made strides in making economic development viable for Presque Isle by bringing together town programs and departments to move in the direction of positive community development, Cousins said. 

Some programs like the downtown facade loan program had been idle but Weibley made adjustments  to make it more attractive for businesses. The facade loan program is a part of the Presque Isle Development Fund.

Weibley also spearheaded updates to the Presque Isle city website to make it more smart phone friendly.

“All the different entities and activities that go on in the city, [Galen] has melded them together to all be working in the same direction,” Cousins said.