Monday, 09 May 2016 17:27

Community programs to help revitalize Bucksport Featured

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BUCKSPORT- Planning the future of Bucksport has begun despite the unfortunate closing of the former Verso Paper Mill downtown. Two community based programs have teamed up to find solutions to attracting new businesses and residents to the area.

They are Bucksport Main Street Program and the Bucksport Heart & Soul team. Both hosted a public training session Monday afternoon on "Telling Our Story Through Our Places."

 

Those who participated in the discussion got to listen to speaker Jane Lafleur, with Friends of Midcoast Maine and Heart & Soul, talk about the importance of place-making in a community. The goal of the collaboration is to reconnect residents with the town they love most.

 

The Bucksport Heart & Soul office is located on Main street and will be there for the next two years.

 

Lafleur said the plan is a "4-phase, two year process. Its a really neat method to engage community members that may not normally be engaged."

 

"We believe that there's something special about every town-- the old downtown, the pastures or woodlands, a get-it-done spirit, or an everyone-is-welcome ethic." said Lafleur.

 

Brook Minner, committee member with Maine Street Bucksport, said Bucksport needs new businesses and economic vitality.

 

"In doing that, we will attract more residents and additional new businesses and get the momentum started so it can take off." said Minner.

 

The planning process is still at the beginning stages with community members brainstorming and thinking in an organizing way what the community wants and need downtown Bucksport. 

 

Bucksport Main Street is currently raising money and writing grants with a goal to hire a director for the program within this year. After that, they will work with the Maine Downtown Center, a statewide organization which leads Maine street organizations to start work on plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Smith

Morning Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

Award winning journalist Laura Smith joined WVII ABC 7 WFVX FOX Bangor News in December 2014. She anchors from 6:30 a.m. - 7 a.m. on ABC 7 and from 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. every weekday.

Laura is a Hearst Journalism Emmy Aw...