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City of Presque Isle 2012 - 2017 Strategic Plan Achieving our Vision
Page 1: City of Presque Isle

City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 Strategic Plan

Achieving our Vision

Page 2: City of Presque Isle
Page 3: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 3

We are proud to present to you the 2012 – 2017 City of Presque Isle Strategic Plan. This plan will act as a

framework for the City’s operations over the next 5 years as the City strives to provide the effective and effi-

cient government services that our community has come to expect. This plan reflects our dedication.

Development of this plan was a combined effort of citizens, elected officials and City staff. Each group will

also play an essential role in the plan’s implementation. The goal of this plan is to provide a platform for

achieving future success.

While some of the priorities identified in this plan remain constant from previous direction, others represent

new areas of focus. The City has celebrated accomplishments such as hosting the World Cup Biathlon at our

Nordic Heritage Center, complete renovation and upgrade to the Turner Memorial Library, home of the very

first state park established in Maine, largest retail center in northern Maine, and the only all weather, instru-

ment landing system equipped facility north of Bangor. This new plan will build upon these well established

strengths and past achievements. We are excited about the progress Presque Isle has made and look forward to

our continued success.


James A. Bennett City Manager

Page 4: City of Presque Isle

Achieving Our Vision 5

Mission & Values 6

Vision & Priorities 7

Strengths 8

Weaknesses 9

Opportunities 10

Challenges 11

Citizen Participation 12

Our Priorities

Economic Vitality 16

Enhancement of Natural Resources 21

Increase Vitality of Downtown 23

Quality of Life 28

Presque Isle: Center of Aroostook 30

Active Lifestyle 32

Population Growth 34

Acknowledgements 35

Table of Contents

Page 5: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 5

T he City of Presque Isle has been engaged in a strategic planning process focused on identify-

ing Presque Isle’s priorities for the next three to five years. This plan outlines a clear and succinct vision for the future, how we will get there, and the role that municipal government will play in realizing the vi-sion. This Strategic Plan is NOT “business as usual.” It is meant to focus on precious resources to achieve goals and objectives that transform Presque Isle’s economic and social landscape. To that end, this document con-tains several recurring themes brought forward by members of the public, elected officials and City staff, which reverberate throughout this plan and deserve mention here:

Increased employment opportunities and popu-lation growth through dynamic economic de-velopment planning

Articulation of a new vision to energize our downtown and riverfront that enhances quality of life and promotes outdoor recreation

Expanded collaboration with community or-ganizations to achieve beneficial and cost-saving goals

Preservation of the thriving North Main Street business, unique heritage and natural beauty through responsible planning

The vast contribution of input by community members has been key to this process. Members of the City’s Management Team and members of the Strategic Planning Committee have also worked diligently

throughout the process to ensure that input was thoughtfully documented, reviewed, and considered when drafting this final comprehensive document. The committee has done all of this while maintain-ing a core belief that municipal government repre-sents the people it serves. It should also be noted that while this plan estab-lishes an ambitious agenda for the community to follow over the next few years, the attainment of some of the more costly objectives will be depend-ent upon the state of our local economy and our abil-ity to obtain the outside resources needed for their implementation.

Achieving Our Vision

Page 6: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 6

Mission Statement: T o preserve Presque Isle’s heritage and natu-

ral beauty, while delivering public programs

and services that encourage health, happiness and


Values in ACTION:

Our Employees

We recognize that the work of every employee, elected official and volunteer of the City is an essential part of providing quality services to

every citizen.

Natural Resources

We value our natural resources, culture and his-toric heritage and are committed to promoting,

enhancing and preserving those assets.

Customer Service

We want to provide a level of customer service that surpasses the expectations of our citizens.

New Ideas & Risk = Innovation

We want to see leadership incorporating innovative approaches and reasonable risk-taking.

Quality of Life

We want to provide a safe, vibrant quality of life with accessibility to education, professional, social

and recreational opportunities.


We believe in community engagement and collabo-ration that addresses the public needs, opinions

and contributions of all individuals.

Mission & Values

Page 7: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 7

Vision & Priorities

Vision Statement: T he City of Presque Isle is a welcoming service

center community that enjoys the unique

blending of small town character, urban conveniences

and natural beauty.

Priorities: Economic Vitality

Create and implement a comprehensive economic

development strategy, which results in a vibrant

and diverse economy for the City of Presque Isle.

Enhancement of Natural Resources

Protect and optimize the City’s natural resources

and existing infrastructure, leading by example

through sustainable practices and behaviors.

Increase Vitality of Downtown

Preserve and reinvest in the economic, aesthetic

and cultural future of Presque Isle by promoting

viability and liveliness of the downtown district.

Quality of Life

Protect and enhance the quality of life for Presque

Isle residents by developing points of pride in our


Presque Isle: Center of Aroostook County

Create and implement a plan to reposition Presque

Isle as the urban center of Aroostook County.

Active Lifestyle

Encourage and engage the community in an active

lifestyle through collaborative efforts.

Population Growth

Increase Presque Isle’s population base by ten per-

cent in ten years by employing the goals set forth in

the City’s Strategic Plan.

Page 8: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 8

Strengths Our city is blessed with some quality strengths:

Economic Service Center of Aroostook – Presque Isle has evolved into a regional service center for commerce, business, education, health care, air transportation and recreation. Residents throughout Aroostook County routinely travel to Presque Isle to shop, work and conduct business.

Educational System – Presque Isle possesses a strong educational system for all ages. MSAD #1 de-livers quality instruction from pre-K to adult education and three area colleges (University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College and Husson University) deliver a wide range of post-secondary opportunities. In addition, multiple collaborative initiatives also exist between the educational facilities and community entities.

Neighborhood Community with Larger City Amenities – Presque Isle offers a unique combi-nation of neighborhood living with larger city options such as businesses, shopping centers and entertain-ment. This combination allows residents to have the best of both worlds; a “small-town” community with “big-city” amenities without urban sprawl and congestion.

Airport – While the Northern Maine Regional Airport is owned and operated by the City of Presque Isle, it benefits all of Aroostook County. It is the only all weather, instrument landing system equipped facility north of Bangor. As such, it provides a crucial link to the outside world during emergencies. In times of bad weather, it has the only fixed wing aircraft based north of Augusta that can provide transport to larger medical facilities in Maine and Massachusetts. In addition, the Presque Isle based FedEx & UPS feeder operation is the only one north of Bangor. Lastly, the regularly scheduled air service provides a link for Aroostook County businesses to global markets.

Natural Beauty – Presque Isle’s natural beauty is one of its greatest assets. The pristine rivers, abun-dant wildlife and rolling countryside create a breathtaking vista that we call home. This untouched natural beauty is a draw to visitors around the world.

A Sincerely Welcoming Environment – Presque Isle is a welcoming community filled with vibrant and dynamic residents who exude a pioneering spirit and consistently demonstrate dedication and commit-ment to their community. It is a place where “down-home” hospitality is extended to neighbors and visi-tors alike.

As we prepared to engage in this process, we felt it important to evaluate our assets and the

challenges we face.

Page 9: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 9

Weaknesses Currently, our organization faces the following challenges:

Outward Migration of Talented Younger Residents – Since the closing of the Loring Air force Base in 1994, the population and economy of Presque Isle have steadily declined. The outward migration of our younger generation is largely due to their need for jobs that pay a livable wage. Any economically vibrant community requires a balance of all generations, in particular the 30 to 50 age range who are gener-ally sustaining families and making major purchases. This gap in our demographic leaves our economy reliant on an aging population which does not offer long term sustainability.

Lack of Area Marketing – While there are several different agencies who offer area marketing for Aroostook County, there is no concrete marketing plan for the City of Presque Isle. The creation of a mar-keting plan would give Presque Isle a recognizable identity to share with the global economy.

Autoculture Oriented Infrastructure – The streets and sidewalks in Presque Isle were designed around an automobile trend (autoculture) and are not pedestrian friendly. The downtown area in particular is difficult to navigate on foot due to the large volume of truck traffic steadily traveling through Presque Isle. In addition, there are no ATV and snowmobile trails offering access to the downtown area which pre-vents businesses from tapping into that market.

Disjointed Economic Development Efforts – There are several agencies who work on economic development in the area however, there seems to be a need for clarity as to what each agency offers. In-creasing awareness and reducing ambiguity would open doors for investment and development.

Spirit of Complacency – Over the years there seems to be a spirit of complacency that has developed within the Presque Isle municipality. It has been suggested that Presque Isle is the largest city in Aroostook with all the “big-city” amenities resulting in a “they come to us so we don’t have to try” atti-tude. This way of thinking prevents Presque Isle from reaching its full potential.

Cul-de-sac Effect – A cul-de-sac is defined as a street or passage closed at one end similar to the geo-graphical location of Aroostook County in relation to the rest of the country. We are essentially, the end of the road for the state of Maine and the northeast corner of the United States. Therefore, transportation, goods and business often times become a one way street out of Aroostook County.

Downtown Building Deterioration – While there are many high-quality, well-maintained proper-ties in downtown Presque Isle, others have suffered from deterioration, neglect and underutilization. This presents an obstacle to revitalizing downtown, and highlights the need for the development of ordinances and other strategies to address this problem and make the downtown area more visually appealing.

Page 10: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 10

Opportunities Many diverse opportunities await discovery, development and

patronage within the City of Presque Isle:

To Become a Place Where Things are Happening – Because Presque Isle is centrally located within Aroostook County, we have the unique opportunity to be the events center of northern Maine. The strategic selection and planning of events is a great opportunity to draw business and people into the area creating an atmosphere of liveliness and vibrancy in the community.

Riverfront – The Presque Isle Stream and the Aroostook River have shaped the landscape around us and have made Presque Isle what it is today. They offer a myriad of opportunities for recreation, leisure and events. Through responsible planning and development, these two riverfronts could offer much greater opportunity than we are currently realizing.

Natives Want to Come Home – Presque Isle is a great place to raise a family and our natives know that. Unlike many communities that have to entice people to relocate there, we have natives who recognize the quality of life Presque Isle offers and want to return home.

Many Travel to Community for Commerce – Because of Presque Isle’s existing business base and central location, there are many residents in surrounding communities who travel here for commerce. They represent a large group of consumers who have been conditioned to travel to Presque Isle and require no enticement.

Trend Towards Healthy Living – Nationally there is a growing trend towards a healthier lifestyle with a more holistic approach towards healthy living including active lifestyle, natural food consumption, spiritual and reflective approaches. This trend is complementary to the natural resources of the community and area.

Business Not Limited Geographically – The geographical location and great distances to other population centers have often presented a limiting factor in the upward business capacity. Improvement in technology now allows the consumer to be serviced from any location for most businesses thereby remov-ing this limitation.

Page 11: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 11

Challenges We must be constantly aware of obstacles to success:

Increased Costs to Live and do Business – Population density and proximity is a major factor in per unit pricing for many goods and services. The geographic isolation and sparse population of the re-mainder of the county is a major factor in the higher costs for many staples; including such major items as transportation and heating costs.

Traffic Issues in Downtown – The downtown corridor fails to serve as a traditional downtown pri-marily because of the ineffective handling of vehicle traffic. The spine of the downtown area is a road that could be considered a major highway funneling a large number of vehicles through the downtown area without intentions of ever utilizing any of it. Traffic going east to west and vice versa must engage in a number of left turn movements; an impediment to effective transportation movement.

Dependence on Federal and State Funding – Not only is the State of Maine more dependent on federal funding than many other states, Aroostook County is also more dependent on federal and state funding than most other counties in the state. Historically, when faced with budgetary challenges, federal and state governments have reduced discretionary funding by reducing subsidies to local governments, in-cluding local education. The growing debate on the size of the federal budget is not an encouraging indica-tor for the future of these revenue sources.

Not a Natural Consideration for Relocation or Expansion by Others – Business growth and expansions are occurring. Private sector growth is not usually made public until the decision is made to do so. Therefore, for a municipality to be actively involved in the consideration for such business ex-pansion/relocation discussion, it needs to be privately invited to participate by the business. Outside of the immediate area, Presque Isle is not part of the consideration (invited list) to compete for business.

Loss of Innocence – Traditional values of honesty, integrity and compassion are being eroded in many other parts of the world. Unfortunately, that trend is starting to impact our community. To illustrate, a re-cent wave of automobile content thefts have occurred in the community. Only one of those vehicles was locked. Many citizens believe that having to lock your vehicle is a symbol of surrendering to a downgrad-ing of collective values.

Global Competition – The flip side to the opportunity of businesses no longer being limited geo-graphically is that many of our local businesses now have new competition from others outside of the re-gion.

Page 12: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 12

Citizen Participation

Strategic Planning Survey An 11 question Strategic Planning Survey was available to the public through the City website from

April 1st through May 20th. A marketing campaign utilizing the local TV, radio, newspaper, City web-

site and targeted phone calls was employed to solicit participation. We received a total of 131 re-

sponses; 42 of which were from our efforts to target local youth.

Community Meetings A Community Meeting was held on April 26th at the Rec Center. There were 24 attendees, 8 of whom

were non-city/committee members. Additionally, presentations were made to community groups such

as: Rotary, Kiwanis, Aroostook Agency on Aging, Elks and VFW during the months of July and Au-

gust, 2011. 



played a

key role

in every

step of




Page 13: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 13

Community Voice

HOLD for future

community input

Page 14: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 14

Community Voice

HOLD for future

community input

Page 15: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 15

Community Voice

“nervous about the economy, jobs

and the future”

“concern about the future of our down-


“talented youth leaving; will they ever

come home?”

“a lack of entertainment”

“high tax rates”

“remove or improve buildings that

are unkempt”

“traffic rerouted in some way to make the

downtown more accessible on foot”

“more accommodations for snowmobiling

and ATVs”

“isolation from the rest of the state”

“create ways to bring in new business,

manufacturing and other money makers”

“we have what we need”

“centrally located with infrastructure that

includes an airport, hospital, schools

and shopping”

“quality education is important and a


“it has a great hometown feel”

“close to nature”

“small community feel with big

city amenities”

“honest, hard-working, friendly people”

“nice area to raise a family”

“low crime rates”

“it’s quiet and it’s beautiful”

“excellent walking/biking path”

“strong agricultural presence

in the community”

Positive Attributes


Page 16: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 16

Economic Vitality

Create and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy, which results in a vibrant and diverse economy for the City of Presque Isle.

Economic Development Plan Identify the types of businesses that would be able

to globally compete effectively if located in Presque Isle Evaluate those businesses in terms of:

Quality and quantity of job creation

Property tax revenue potential

Positive impact of business on other economic activity within the commu-nity and area

Develop a plan to target these businesses to promote the advantages of business location in Presque Isle

Evaluate and encourage recruitment incentives for targeted business

Identify the types of businesses that would have a negative impact on: Job creation Overall business environment within the com-

munity and area Discourage economic incentives to recruit

these types of businesses

Analyze current economic development activities for effectiveness and cost efficiencies Develop a list of Economic Development play-

ers Determine mission, goals and niches of each Analyze efficiencies, effectiveness and dupli-

cation of services Determine opportunities for improvement

Review and analyze comprehensive plan and identify areas that need attention

Explore option to relocate MDOT Facility to open up prime real estate for development Initiate meeting with MDOT to determine

needs Find a suitable site to relocate the facility to

such as their Mapleton Road location Determine cost and time frame possibilities

Develop Cunningham School Lot Determine acceptable uses for the lot Determine marketability of uses Reissue RFP and evaluate responses

Page 17: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 17

Economic Vitality Identify Target Business Segments Retain existing business

Recruit new business “In-fill” strategy that allows commerce to

thrive in Presque Isle’s downtown, riverfront and North Street area. These needs drive deci-sions on the location of parking, streetscape design, landscaping, street lighting, pedestrian/bicycle amenities and future infrastructure in-vestments.

Increase the population density of the Downtown area and discourage the un-necessary expense of development in rural areas. While this approach cre-ates some initial costs in the short term it is a better long term planning strat-egy.

Inventory available locations

Determine the marketability of the sites

Develop a matrix of potential for each site

Feasibility study for additional industrial zone

Inventory available locations

Determine the marketability of the sites

Develop a matrix of potential for each site

Establish and implement an existing business visi-tation program

Visit at least two local businesses each month

Discuss the opportunities for each enter-prise along with their needs and the chal-lenges they face

Based on those discussions, pursue ap-propriate action to foster new investment and to create & retain jobs.

Provide assistance and serve as an ombudsman to businesses and developers navigating devel-opment review, licensing and other regulatory processes

Improve informational materials to introduce business to local and state business assistance programs

Agricultural Strategy Develop economic strategies that value agricul-

ture as a key component to the community and regions importance

Identify areas within the community that should encourage and support agricultural uses

Encourage development and support businesses that are integral to the success of the agricultural industry

Encourage the development of practices and products that will be able to compete in the new ‘natural’ trend

Page 18: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 18

Economic Vitality

Educational Excellence Continue to expect and support excellence in the

local higher educational system including the com-munity college and universities, while demanding cost effective delivery of that excellence

Encourage MSAD #1 to increase the collaboration with the local higher educational systems in the community to increase the ability of high school students to obtain college credits

Continue the tradition of innovative learning that has created such results as the school farm

Housing Strategy Develop a housing inventory to understand the

availability of housing in various categories Determine the right product mix of the dif-

ferent types of desired housing within the community that is also obtainable

Aggressively work to remove, convert or otherwise redevelop areas where there is excess housing capacity

Encourage the development of any hous-ing types where the demand is unmet and desirable

Such development should occur over time to not adversely impact price by creating too much inven-tory

Aggressively correct and/or remove all unsafe housing within the community

Promote safe housing alternatives within the community

Presque Isle Industrial Council Continue the decades of good work at the

Presque Isle Industrial Council by actively man-aging their properties and creating economic op-portunities

Review the methods used to develop the excel-lent track record

Continue to employ timeless strategies that have proven successful

Encourage critical analysis of methods that might be time tired and encourage other alternatives that might increase ef-

Page 19: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 19

Economic Vitality


Encourage dialogue about long standing practices to determine the practicality of those practices

Examine no sale of land policy Examine the market rate rent policy versus

collective job creation justifying lower than market rate rent

Evaluate other economic development policies and their role in the long term success of PIIC mission

Transportation Infrastructure Advocate solutions for east to west transportation

as well as continuing to look for more effective transportation models

Build by-pass in a phased approach with the Conant Rd. to Fort Rd. as the first priority Continue to support the by-pass as a phased

project Continue to advocate to state and federal agen-

cies Integrate other transportation planning to com-

plement by-pass

Encourage Railway Growth Encourage economic activity on the railroad Encourage the expansion of services by the


Reduce cost to fly out of airport Determine the causes of the additional pre-

mium to fly out of airport versus other choices and determine the ability to influence or change those costs.

Encourage the next essential air services (EAS) contract to be serviced by a hub airport instead of Boston-Logan.

Attract low cost specialty carrier to provide air

service to non-EAS hub Encourage and promote PQI as a preferred

air service for targeted Canadian populations

Make airport training site Determine the feasibility and advantages of

having the airport deemed a permanent train-ing location for the military.

Energy and Technology Strategy Determine the costs and hurdles to provide unin-

terrupted, reliable power

Determine the costs and hurdles to provide unin-terrupted, reliable internet as a key technology component in today’s global economy

Decrease the cost of energy to be more competi-tive with the long term goal of being equal to or below statewide energy costs

Develop renewable energy sources

Analyze natural gas options Determine the possibility of bringing com-

mercial natural gas to Aroostook County

Page 20: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 20

Economic Vitality generally, Presque Isle specifically

Analyze the cost effectiveness and feasibility

Heating Strategy Encourage the retrofitting of buildings to utilize

Aroostook renewable energy sources as a replace-ment for fossil fuels

Utilize the advantages of incentives and govern-ment grant programs such as the State of Maine PACE program

Investment in Technology Encourage a digital inclusive strategy

Increase the availability of high speed internet access

Increase the availability of public access computers, both public and private sector locations

Increase the competency level of all within

the community

Increase the use of technology by the City of Presque Isle to

Increase efficiency of services Increase the transparency of government

operations Increase the digital connectedness be-

tween the City and others

Training & Continuing Education for Personnel Utilize cost-effective means to enable training,

such as employees cross training each other, seeking of scholarship opportunities and access-ing complimentary webinars

When City-sponsored training is financially pos-sible, training will be targeted to specific needs

Maintain required licenses and certifications for effective, up-to-date job performance

Advocate and encourage the attainment of colle-giate degrees and professional development to enhance public service and to enable promotion and succession planning

Provide all front-line employees with basic train-ing on the core public-service functions of all City departments so that they can provide refer-ral information to resident requests in an effi-cient and courteous manner

Create a learning environment within our organi-zation that fosters ongoing training and network-ing in order to approach all aspects of operations creatively with the end goal of improving effec-tiveness and efficiency

Continue efforts to attract new professionals and

Page 21: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 21

Enhancement of Natural Resources

Develop a marketing strategy that accents the natural resource assets within the com-munity and the area, while promoting the environmentally friendly urban core. Create a new slogan and logo that clearly positions

the community and region as a premiere location in a small, safe urban area set in a pristine natural resources

The million dollar view for pennies on the dollar

The five minute ride to unblemished nature

Encourage policies that promote and protect for-ests, farmland, open space and scenic vistas

Explore tax policies to support the goal

Create more green spaces within the urban core Create more down town green space Create a master plan for city wide trail sys-

tem, including walking/bike access throughout

Create downtown connection for alterna-tive vehicle (ATV/snowmobile) access

Explore renewable energy sources Focus on energy sources that are readily

found in Aroostook County Encourage policies that assist in develop-

ing markets for local energy sources Evaluate centralized heating system for the

downtown that utilizes Aroostook County renewal energy sources

Protect fish and game industry

Use ‘green’ solutions in all new City buildings and projects

Encourage the development of higher educa-tional programs that center on natural resources

Aggressively protect natural resources without overly complicated and unneces-sary regulations Encourage regulations to protect natural re-

sources that are balanced in promoting smart use of the lands without damaging the sacred reputa-tions of pristine natural resources.

Identify Brownfield sites within the community

Protect and optimize the City’s natural resources and existing infrastructure, leading by example through sustainable practices and behaviors.

Page 22: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 22

Enhancement of Natural Resources and seek to return those sites to productive use

Inventory water quality of all water bodies within the City and create master plan to either;

Improve that water quality, if appropriate Protect that water quality

Encourage commercial and recreational uses that foster and enhance the City and area’s reputation as a natural resource mecca Create a niche area within the community for envi-

ronmentally friendly business to locate

Support tax policy that will reduce the costs to identified businesses that locate within the area

Aggressively pursue businesses that en-hance the image and marketing plan

Identify current businesses that enhance the mar-keting plan and support those

Partner to promote a show case event an-nually that supports the businesses and in-dustries

Encourage active and premiere farmers market within the community and in a location that com-pliments the natural resources within the commu-nity

Consider a botanical garden

Encourage performing venues that support the im-age; support existing ones

Maine Winter Sports Center

Promote reuse of vacant farm land that en-hances the image

Tree growth and harvesting

Grass-fuel technology

Encourage signature events that promote and integrate the image River races

Golf Tournaments

Snowmobile and ATV events

Continue to support world events being held at Maine Winter Sports Center

Develop a master calendar that integrates all lo-cal events into one central location

Use natural resources as central theme in land use development and planning Integrate walking/bike path master plan along

the river fronts

Incorporate riverfront into downtown planning

Build public infrastructure in and among river front

Incorporate new public areas among natural re-sources

New athletic fields

Outdoor pool replacement


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2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 23

Increase Vitality of Downtown

Redevelop Main Street and adjacent areas Seek comprehensive consultant firm to deal with

complex downtown planning, including traffic, sidewalk widening and other issues Develop a master plan that creatively and cost

effectively encourages investments, improve-ments and generates activities in the downtown area

Seek a Community Development Block Grant to supplement funding for this project

Include other transportation i.e. snowmobile and ATV planning as an integral part of the planning for the downtown area to encourage the active participation of that sector of visitors

Develop a consistent downtown aesthetics theme Support downtown building façade renovation Support renovation of the backside of the

downtown buildings to offer a more appeal-ing view from Riverside park

Vegetation management

Identify a funding plan for implementation of strategies

Calculate the total taxable value in the down-town, determine the amount of ‘under-value’ in the area due to the depressed economy to deter-mine the potential new incremental tax revenues that could be obtained

Identify priorities for funding, based signifi-cantly on the identified return on investments for each of the projects

Pursue grants and other non-property tax fund-ing

Establish the downtown area as the priority for any future Community Development Block Grant applications, including before the endorse-ment of any other non-city CDBG applications

Encourage the creative reuse of existing build-ings on Main St

Pursue façade improvement program, including the creation of a matching grant/loan program to spur private investment Create a program to encourage the develop-

ment of second floor development of empty buildings in the downtown area

Develop and implement a vehicle transportation

Preserve and reinvest in the economic, aesthetic and cultural future of Presque Isle by promoting viability and liveliness of the downtown district.

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2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 24

improvement plan that will encourage more com-merce

Seek to eliminate west/east truck traffic that cur-rently travels through the downtown

Eliminate/reduce the amount of left turn movements that are necessary to travel east/west through the downtown

Seek to reduce the amount of turning movements in the downtown area that will increase the efficiency of handling down-town traffic

Aggressively pursue the phased by-pass as an integral part of solving the downtown traffic challenges

Increase the width of the sidewalks Encourage the private use of the sidewalks

to increase the overall ‘energy’’ in the downtown area

Encourage outside seating for eateries Encourage outside displays

Encourage safe and effective pedestrian crossings that are integrated into the vehicle movement

Encourage night life development Integrate business development that encour-

ages a business connection between the down-town area and the college attendees

Become the preferred location for night life activity in the county

Seek innovative approaches to decrease costs Evaluate the development of centralized heat-

ing system using Aroostook County renewable energy sources such as bio-mass

Support state and other initiatives to bring natural gas into the downtown

Evaluate the current parking availability

Plan for parking investment to be phased in with the development growth of area

Encourage a top notch active farmers market in the downtown area

Complete the utility pole relocation on Main Street

Riverfront Development Design a master plan that integrates the river-

front with the downtown area so that there is a seamless transition between the two

Encourage development along the riverfront in the downtown area that takes advantage of the natural beauty Determine the appropriate balance between

public spaces and private development Encourage organized events and activities

that gather at the riverfront

Extend the bike and walking path along the riv-

Increase Vitality of Downtown

Page 25: City of Presque Isle

2012 - 2017 STRATEGIC PLAN 25


Build the new Community Center in the riverfront areas Design the facility to take advantage of the riv-

erfront views and activities Ensure that the building exterior and outside

facilities are complementary to the downtown master plan

Include uses and design principles that will invite all ages into the facility

Identify funding sources to make the project affordable for the property taxpayers

Use the construction of the Community Center as the official beginning of the redevelopment of the riverfront as well as the downtown area

Integrate the design to enhance the redevelop-ment of the Chapman St area

Encourage the redevelopment of Chapman St Utilize the community center project as the

‘tipping point’ to support private investment in the area

Invest in public facilities improvement; im-proved sidewalks; public lighting

Evaluate other resources as grant/loan matches for private investment

Pedestrian Plan Develop plan for sidewalk maintenance

Inventory sidewalks Evaluate condition Develop database Determine required funding levels

Complete City bike/walking path Develop a master plan for a complete city

bike/walking path

Consider integrating trail system into the Aroostook State Park trails

Determine phasing and funding

Submit Communities of Maine Fu-ture Grant to support the project

Improve access to downtown Bike/Walking path trails that connect to sec-

tions of downtown

ATV/Snowmobile trails that connect to sec-tions of downtown Create parking lots that promote walking

the street to stores Maintain crosswalk safety

Center of “Creative Economy” for Aroostook County Promote the “creative economy” as a place

where people make their living by thinking and creating. It includes not just writers, artists and actors but architects, lawyers, engineers, soft-ware designers, medical practitioners, educators, fabricators, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and

Increase Vitality of Downtown

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many other professions. In this evolving economy people will choose where they want to live based on what attracts and inspires them, rather than just the location of a job. As a result, Presque Isle will seek out, promote and support development of:

A mix of restaurants, arts, galleries, green space, housing, environmentally friendly businesses and diverse employment and recreational opportunities

‘Incubator’ space in the downtown area for start up and young creative economy busi-ness

Performing arts center, outdoor theatre or amphitheatre of some kind in the down-town area

Relationships between the local arts com-munity and the Turner Memorial Library to attract fresh talent to the area

Oversight and promotion committees

Governance Encourage the development of a young profession-

als group to serve as an advisory board for the re-development of the downtown area

Develop a predictable and quick regulatory review and permitting process that will encourage devel-opment

Develop a ‘form-based’ zoning and regulatory ap-proach to achieve a specific urban form that ad-dresses the challenges of deterioration of historic neighborhoods and neglect of pedestrian safety in new development. Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the pub-lic realm, the form and mass of buildings in rela-tion to one another and the scale and types of

streets and blocks. They are a valuable tool to help address the downtown area and would al-low us to evaluate a project on the merits and overall ability of the project to meet the goals of the downtown.

Redefine the Downtown Revitalization Commit-tee role beyond its current advisory and activity based committee

Atmosphere of Activity and ‘Energy’ Encourage organized activities in the downtown

area on a regular basis; goal of weekly

Create the expectation that there is always some-thing going on in Presque Isle

Create centralized calendar of events and widely publicize those activities

Encourage all groups to report events and activi-ties to centralized calendar of events

Create atmosphere and expectation that all county events will desire to have some portion of their activities in the downtown area

Increase Vitality of Downtown

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Increase Vitality of Downtown

Transportation Change our downtown from one that has a major

highway that goes through it to a more inviting downtown

Continue to support the construction of the bypass, with phasing of the construction in an acceptable order such as:

Phase I: Fort Rd to Conant Rd Phase II: Conant Rd to Route 1 Phase III: Fort Rd to Route 1

Engage traffic engineer to design alternatives that will reduce/eliminate east/west movement of through traffic, especially truck traffic

Reduce the amount of left turn movements that are necessary for east/west traffic movements

Encourage the development of a truck traffic route from the five way intersection of Parsons Rd, State St, Mechanic St. north on Parsons Rd to Rt. 163 to the constructed by-pass

Encourage the development of a walkable, pedes-trian friendly downtown

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Quality of Life

Create partnerships to allow organizations and surrounding communities to have a “voice” with decision making to help achieve buy-in during the early stages of planning Continue Central Aroostook Community meetings

with local City Managers and Officials to foster inter-community relationships.

Encourage decision making that enhances quality of life both in terms of actual and perceived qualify of life Identify the main themes that citizens use to de-

scribe and evaluate quality of life

Create a strategy to protect and/or enhance the identified areas

Develop a citizen communication plan to ensure the ‘story’ is being told Include multiple formats and disciplines

Identify events that improve the connect-edness between the citizens and their pride for the area Create a signature event that becomes the event

for the community

Support other community events throughout the year

Protect and enhance the quality of life for Presque Isle residents by

developing points of pride in our community.

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Quality of Life

Invest and encourage the investment into the items that enhance quality of life Encourage the redevelopment of public sidewalk

and streetscape in the downtown area Encourage visually pleasing investments that

require little maintenance Make maintenance of existing facilities a pri-


Seek ways to encourage individual heightened as-pirations, self-sufficiency goals and prosperity-focused mindsets throughout the community.

Identify the at risk population and ensure their needs are met As the principle service community in Northern Maine, the community and its partners serve many ‘at-risk’ members of the population.

Gather community partner’s involved with provid-ing services to have a community dialogue on the effectiveness of the current services being pro-vided

Seek to develop a list of underserved populations

Seek a list of increasing populations that will outgrow the current resources

Develop a strategy to protect the most vulnerable members of the community

Encourage collaboration among providers in an effort to seek more efficiency in the service de-livery

Engage in discussions about the future funding and methods of providing services at the state and federal level

Implement a strategy that will serve the needs of the ‘at risk’ populations but not develop a pro-gram that becomes a magnet to attract others from other communities that do not accept their collective community’s’ role in assisting their same populations.

Promote outdoor activities Market outdoor activities such as:

Hunting Fishing Snowmobiling ATVing Golfing Biking Walking Snow Shoeing Skiing Kayaking Canoeing Hiking

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Presque Isle: Center of Aroostook County

Launch an innovative, effective and consis-tent marketing campaign for the City of Presque Isle Redefine Presque Isle: make it new and different

Consider changing slogan from Hub of Aroostook County to a different one that de-scribes a branding message that invokes a positive emotional response

Develop a new slogan with all other actions in the strategic plan

Create brand messaging

Clearly identify slogan and logo

Strongly support the same event that is identifiable to just Presque Isle

Outreach across the border to foster ties with Canada

Collaborate with other communities and agencies to maximize resources and streamline planning efforts Foster Relationships with State and Federal

Government Agencies

Maintain status as service center of Northern Maine

Develop meaningful relationships with sur-rounding communities with an eye to consolidat-ing services, joint purchasing and projects Hold joint meetings Develop agreement for shared services Market Presque Isle’s services to surround-

ing communities

Explore possibility of becoming a military vaca-tion destination as a source of revenue

Become identified as the urban center of Aroostook County Shopping destination of choice for Western New

Brunswick Research federal/provincial laws

Analyze fuel costs – establish Presque Isle as the lowest in the region

Establish a calendar of events that ensures there is always something to do in Presque Isle

Identified urban center of Aroostook County

Create and implement a plan to reposition Presque Isle as the

urban center of Aroostook County.

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Presque Isle: Center of Aroostook County

Analyze transportation alternatives to the area Research air transportation through the Northern

Maine Regional Airport to reach target markets

Become a destination for bus services including Canadian companies

Research feasibility of passenger train transporta-tion into Presque Isle

Promote seasonal sightseeing tours at peak times of the year to capitalize on the area’s natural beauty

Establish Presque Isle as the preferred loca-tion of choice for agency providers Encourage agency providers to take advantage of

Presque Isle’s central location in Aroostook

County which makes it an ideal place to estab-lish a main office

Create an outreach program that targets local agency providers and invite them to establish their main offices in Presque Isle 

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Active Lifestyle

Encourage active lifestyle choices as a pre-ferred expectation for the community, capi-talizing on the national trend Strengthen the community’s commitment to an active life by:

Constructing a new community center

Providing year round access to physical activities

Continuing the bike/walking path throughout the community

Exploring the creation of an outdoor family skat-ing location

Enhancing and featuring hiking trails throughout

the community, including Aroostook State Park and Mantle Park

Supporting outdoor facilities such as the Maine Winter Sports Center and the Nordic Heritage Center

Creating a webpage that maps out local walking, hiking, snow shoeing and cycling routes

Supporting the Recreation and Parks department in providing quality youth recreational services

Exploring partnerships with the school district to encourage physical activities for local youth

Promoting use of the indoor pool as a great source of year round activity

Encourage strategic partnerships among organizations that promote active life-styles Create a group interested in active and healthy

lifestyle education

Develop strategy to reduce smoking among community members

Develop strategy to reduce poor health issues that are fostered by unhealthy lifestyle choices

Encourage healthy nutrition education

Integrate locally grown food into the active and healthy lifestyle education and promotion

Encourage and engage the community through collaborative efforts,

in an active lifestyle.

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Active Lifestyle

Encourage partnership activities among facilities

Promote and encourage new businesses that incor-porate these principles such as:

Sports equipment stores Outdoor adventure camps Restaurants focused on nutrition and health Organic vegetable and livestock farming Holistic medicines

Construct infrastructure with active life-

style considerations Conduct responsible planning of the downtown

area that integrates walking/biking paths

Create pedestrian friendly sidewalks and cross


Connect foot traffic between North Main Street

and the Downtown area

Create designated space for a Farmer’s market

Construct a new Community Center that offers

year round opportunities for activities

Promote and improve boat landing on the

Aroostook River to increase kayaking, canoeing

and boating opportunities

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Population Growth

Population Strategy Encourage population growth in order to take ad-

vantage of the system capacity that exists because of the decades of declining population and service center demand

Analyze the population trends Identify the demographic growth areas that

are desired Increase the desirability of family reloca-

tion to the area

Increase the desirability of young professionals to relocate to the area

Provide and promote community attributes Safe community Neighborhood connectedness

Encourage digital inclusivity that offers everyone in the area access and the ability

Demographic Trends Analyze trends over last twenty years

Determine changes by specific age categories Compare Presque Isle’s changes with:

Rest of Aroostook County

Other service center communities in Maine surrounded by rural areas

Rest of Maine

United States

Western New Brunswick, Canada Develop strategies that:

Encourage positive trends

Reverse negative trends

Understand the important items for desired population growth categories Complete SWOT (strength, weakness, op-

portunity, threats) analysis for each item Work to strengthen the highest priority items

Targeted Groups for Targeted Growth Market Northern Maine region and Presque Isle

to former residents “Come Home – To Northern Maine” Determine location of former citizens and

target them to return home Engage citizens to assist in efforts

Market the new image to others that are likely to relocate

Create the buzz using non-traditional sources, i.e. social media, etc 

Increase Presque Isle’s population base by ten percent in ten years by employing the goals set forth in the City’s

Strategic Plan.

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Thank You

Strategic Planning Committee Members

Calvin Hall, Citizen and Chairperson

Scott Violette, Downtown Revitalization Committee and Vice Chairperson

Tom Gagnon, Citizen

Chad Gray, Large Employer

Brent Anderson, Planning Board

Lucy Richard, SAD#1 Board

Miles Williams, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce Representative

Mark White, Recreation Board

Carolyn Dorsey-Durepo, UMPI

Larry LaPlante, NMCC

Connie Sandstrom, ACAP

Sylvia Getman, TAMC

City Councilors

Micah Desmond*

Walt Elish¹

Richard Engels*

Don Gardner¹

Peter Hallowell

Mel Hovey¹

Bruce Sargent

Emily Smith

Jessica Chase Smith*

Randy Smith

Jennifer Trombley¹

City Staff

James Bennett, City Manager & Facilitator

Judy Dionne, Executive Assistant & Editor

*Member of 2012 City Council Only

¹Member of 2011 City Council Only

We would like to acknowledge and thank the Strategic Plan Committee members, City staff and Councilors for their assistance with this project. The research and

time involved in creating this document required cooperation and commitment from many individuals.

City of Presque Isle 12 Second Street Presque Isle, ME 04769 (207) 760-2700 www.presqueisle.govoffice2.com