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Regional Coordination Plan

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					III.D.   Regional Coordination Plan
                                                     REGIONAL COORDINATION PLAN


Bar Harbor is one of Maine’s 63 Service Center Communities. As such the
Town serves as a job center, importing workers from surrounding communities, a
retail center, with sales exceeding the needs of the local population, and offers
an array of social, cultural, health, and financial services to the surrounding
region. Bar Harbor’s modest year-round population and village form belie its
economic force within the Mount Desert Island and mainland region, which are
economically supported by tourism, not-for-profit research, and a world-class
marine environment. The high cost of real estate in the community has caused
many employees of local industries to move off the island to secure affordable
housing. A large number of commuters has lead to changes in the mix of retail
establishments, created traffic congestion, has stressed air quality, and caused
difficulties in securing and retaining volunteer emergency services personnel.

As a member and leader within its region, Bar Harbor will work with neighboring
communities and interested organizations to support and strengthen the regional
economy, meet residents’ needs, efficiently provide public facilities and services,
preserve natural resource based industries, and protect the area’s exemplary
environment.

The Town is an active participant in the MDI League of Towns, which is
comprised of the Towns of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor,
Tremont, Cranberry Isles, Swan’s Island, Trenton and Lamoine.

Some areas where the town will focus regional coordination efforts include:


I.    Economic Development

The town will work with the local Chamber of Commerce, the MDI League of
Towns, and the entire Downeast area to improve its image and services so that,
whenever possible, it speaks with a single voice in support of tourism, not for
profit research (biomedicine, marine science), fishing, and marine-related
industries.


II.   Affordable Housing

The town will work with adjoining towns, the local housing authority, Island
Housing Trust, MDI Tomorrow, the MDI League of Towns, Hancock County
Planning Commission, and other regional and private interests to encourage and
support the development of affordable housing in the community and region.




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                                                     REGIONAL COORDINATION PLAN



III.   Transportation

The town will continue to work with adjoining towns, the Chamber of Commerce,
MDI Tomorrow, MDI League of Towns, Hancock County Planning Commission,
Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Department of Environmental
Protection, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service,
Environmental Protection Agency, Friends of Acadia, Downeast Transportation,
Inc. and others to promote efficient on and off-island transportation to reduce
highway congestion and improve air quality in the region. To this end, the town
will seek to expand in collaboration with the Island Explorer to address both local
and regional transportation needs and take advantage of opportunities to reduce
automobile commuting both on and off-island. Some of these efforts will include
incentives to encourage local employers to develop alternatives to automobile
commuting and encourage investment in transportation planning, public transit
and demand management as an alternative or supplement to increasing the
capacity of roadways. Other regional initiatives include a regional bike and trail
system, sidewalks and increased ferry services.


IV.    Public Facilities and Services

As Bar Harbor, or other towns on the Island, considers adding or expanding each
public facility or service, the town will explore opportunities for shared facilities
and services. The MDI League of Towns currently consolidates household
hazardous waste collection. Mutual aid agreements are in place for police, fire
and ambulance services and may be developed for additional municipal services.
Pandemic flu response and other public health services may also be explored for
regional provision. The town will continue to share fire services with the town of
Mt. Desert as it explores improved fire protection for Town Hill. The town will
work to build a stronger relationship with School Union 98 to better anticipate and
coordinate capital planning and financing for the high school.


V.     Parks and Open Space

The town will continue to work with the National Park Service, MDI League of
Towns, Friends of Acadia, West Eden Village Improvement Society, Hancock
County Planning Commission, and other interested groups in anticipating and
resolving issues of joint concern.




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                                                    REGIONAL COORDINATION PLAN



VI.    Marine Resources

The town will work with surrounding communities and organizations like the MDI
Biological Laboratory, MDI League of Towns, MDI Water Quality Coalition,
Healthy Beaches and Hancock County Planning Commission, as well as the
fishing industry and agencies, to establish shellfish management controls and
restoration efforts as well as to prepare and adopt bay management plans.


VII.   Natural and Cultural Resources

The town will work with surrounding communities, the MDI League of Towns,
Hancock County Planning Commission, National Park Service, and other interest
groups to identify and preserve important natural and cultural resources, open
spaces, and scenic views that are viewable of and from within the community.


VIII. Agricultural and Forest Resources

The town will work with surrounding communities, MDI Tomorrow, MDI League of
Towns, Hancock County Planning Commission, and other interested parties to
support farmers markets as a direct outlet to the market for island and regional
agriculture. These same groups will also be coordinated to work on forest
management practices.


IX.    Energy
As energy costs continue to rise, the Town will work with other towns in the
region to investigate provision of energy services as well as support private
sector industries in alternative energy.


X.     Communication

The Town will work with other towns in the regional to enhance broadband
services, provide wireless internet services and enhance emergency
communication systems.




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