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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT In 2003 Winterport completed with Federal, State and private funds a 6 1/2 million dollars reconstruction of Main Street. The work included the total reconstruction of route 1A/Main street through Winterport Village. Also completed was the reconstruction of water, sewer, and storm drainage pipes as well as curbs, walks and street trees. Our forty- five to fifty Main Street businesses are optimistic that this economic development project will boost their profit margins. The Town of Winterport is evaluating the potential of developing four areas as follows: 1. the mostly privately held Winterport Village & Port Area consisting of 72.2 acres in ten lots: and the publically held areas of 2. Marsh Stream 68 acres in one lot, 3. Fernald Fields 506.75 acres in four lots, and 4. Park Drive Wharff lot in back of Wagner School 52.82 acres in one lot. You are invited to move to Winterport. It is a great place to grow a business. It is a wonderful place for your children to grow up. We have fun in all our friendly villages, neighborhoods and developments. The State of Maine determined that the local full value property tax burden for Winterport in 2003 measured fifteen dollars and ninety cents per one thousand dollars of property. The State of Maine determined that the local full value property tax burden for Winterport ten years ago was fifteen dollars and ninety three cents per one thousand dollars of property. Winterport is living within its means. The population of Winterport increased thirteen percent from three thousand one hundred seventy five persons in nineteen ninety to three thousand six hundred and four persons in 2000. The Public water and public sewer services are provided to 20% or 292 or Winterport's 1461 housing units. Two hundred fifty or seventeen per cent are renter occupied. Winterport‘s total budget this year is three million seven hundred nineteen thousand and ninety one dollars. Of this budget, two million one hundred sixty five thousand five hundred and twenty nine dollars, or (58%) percent, was spent on local education. Seven percent was spent on County Service. The remaining 35% was municipal expense. In 1766 explorers started settlements at the villages of Winterport and Marsh Stream in the Town of Frankfort. On March 12, 1860 the Town of Winterport was incorporated out of Frankfort . Winterport’s habor became the home to many far-ranging sea captains because it was the last open and unfrozen inland harbor on the deep and fast-flowing Penobscot River. Older homes, many built for Winterport sea captains, still stand along the Winterport Village Streets. Today Winterport retains a 19th century charm that blends well with more than forty modern Main Street businesses. Winterport Village is a thriving downtown, where people can find conveniences and crafts. Sidewalks encourage people to stroll through the town. They can stop and listen to concert on the lawn of the Town’s most historic landmark the Union Meeting House, built in 1834. This building shelters a bell cast by Paul Revere, a belfry clock installed in 1861, and a Masons and Hamlin hand-pumped reed organ installed in 1859. Winterport is fortunate to have abundant god given resources including the Penobscot River, Marsh Stream, numerous brooks, acres of gravel deposits, rolling hills, hardwood forests. Such abundance allows our hard working businesses to prosper. The deep water Winterport Terminals does international shipping and frozen foods storage. The Winterport Marina and the Dock Works provide dockage, repairs and services to pleasure boaters. Midcoast Marine and Midcoast Cruises includes charter boat tours on the Roxey Leigh and tug services. Winterport has good gravel. Several companies and governments have gravel mining operations. Some of the companies include Lanes, Hughes Brothers, H.E. Sargent, Foley, Clisham, Johnson, Thibodeau, and Dorrs. The State and Bangor also operate gravel mines in Winterport. Such mining operations provide many jobs for truckers and excavators who work for companies such as Harriman Brothers, Thibodeau, Wellman, Clishams and Higgins Contracting. Winterport has dozens of farms, six dairy, two beef cattle, a couple of orchards, and our forester Bernard Ginn. The Town also has a forest farm which last year netted the Town $20,500. A hundred years ago our caring citizens began fighting fires and responding to emergencies. Today our Winterport Fire and Rescue crews boast a well equipped Fire Department and Ambulance Service. They provide highly effective protection with certified fire fighters and emergency medical technicians. Last fall Winterport’s Board of Selectmen awarded a bid of $198,819. to purchase of a new fire truck. Last month the Town took delivery and paid $81,000. for a new ambulance. Winterport has four active and giving churches: Baptist, Catholic, Methodist and Pentecostal. They provide food for residents in the time of crises through their ecumenical Neighbor's Cupboard operated out of the Calvary Apostolic Church. Our Churches are supported by active and caring Fraternal Organizations, including, the St. Gabriel's Ladies Action group, the Garfield Lodge #99 Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Howard Masonic Lodge and the Knights of Columbus. The citizens of Winterport are smart, active, energetic and fun loving. Our citizens are involved socially through the Winterport Women's Club, the Historic Association, the Union Meeting House, the Winterport Open Stage and the American Legion Argonne Post 138. Yes and our citizens play close to home. We golf at the Streamside Golf on Stream Rd. We practice driving at Sonny's Driving Range on Cove Rd. The Riverside Riders Snowmobilers sled over miles and miles of snowmobile trails. Regularly the Model Airplane Club has fly ins at Fernald Field. Annually the Winterport Open Stage entertains us with many enjoyable theatrical stage productions. The Winterport Village Main Street Association annually holds the Blueberry Festival and Bluegrass Concert. Municipal Capital Improvement Districts. In 2001 the State enacted two laws providing for: 1. Municipal Capital Improvement Districts (MCID); and 2. Municipal Development Districts (MDD) The latter is commonly referred to as a TIF District. A Municipal Development District (MCID): 1. would be approved by a Town Referendum; 2. be administered by the Town of Winterport; 3. may be financed over ten years; and 4. does not include the Tax Increment Financing. A Municipal Development District (MDD): 1. must be approved by the State Department of Economic and Community Development; 2. could be administered by the town, a redevelopment authority or by the Town's private contractor; 3. may be financed over 30 years; and 4. may include Tax Increment Financing applications when approved by the State. In both types of districts the town has the power to acquire, contract, reconstruct, improve, and preserve improvements such as streets, drainage, sewer, water, street lighting, walks, parking, public leisure open space, public easements, public rest rooms, etc... The public review, consideration, hearing and decision making is similar in both instances. Proposals are reviewed informally with the Town Manager. Development Districts/TIF Policies Either the Town on its own initiative or a private developer can submit a preliminary and unofficial proposal that would be reviewed by the Town Manager, and Economic Development Committee. Their reports would be submitted to the Selectmen and applicants. Winterport adopted at Town Meeting June 2001 a Tax Increment Financing review policy. In both instances a formal application is submitted to the Town Manager. Then the application is placed upon the Selectmen's Agenda to establish a date for a hearing and consideration upon a district proposal, ordinances and warrants. The Selectmen would direct public notices that include: 1. advertising in a local newspaper 14 days prior to the hearing date; 2. notices to affected landowners by certified mail 14 days prior to the hearing date; and 3. posting in the usual places 7 days prior to the hearing. Upon conclusion of the hearing the Selectmen may approve, amend and approve or reject the proposals. Thereafter the processing of the two types of proposals take different paths. The MCID may be further processed in the Selectmen's discretion through; 1. a referendum among affected property owners; and 2. by warrant of the Selectmen a Town wide Referendum to consider the question. The MDD may be further processed in the Selectmen's discretion by call and warrants for a special or regular Town Meeting. The Town Meeting would approve or reject the proposal and if approved would authorize the town to request the State DECD to approve the Winterport Municipal Development District and any Tax Increment Financing. The Maine DECD publishes a fifty page guide for preparing and submitting a municipal request to the Commissioner of DECD, 59 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333- 0059. Back to Winterport Maine Home Page