AUBURN — It’s time to settle any differences the Twin Cities have concerning economic development, according to Lewiston City Council President Mark Cayer.

“It’s time to settle this and come up with something,” Cayer said. “We have so much going on, with potential state revenue cuts. Let’s get this taken care of so we can move on.”

Councilors from both cities will meet Thursday for a moderated discussion to find common ground on economic development issues.

One issue will be the role of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, the group tasked with guiding the Twin Cities’ joint marketing and promotions to help bring new business to the area.

“A periodic review, making sure we are doing the best we can, that’s OK,” Cayer said. “I don’t think we need to tear something completely apart to come up with something better.”

But Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said he thinks Thursday’s discussion will be a starting point.

“To me, we can start a conversation about how to organize what we are doing to make more happen,” LaBonte said.

The meeting will be moderated by Jim Damicus, senior vice president of Camoin Associates, an economic development consulting company based in Scarborough.

Auburn councilors called for rewriting the two cities’ contract with the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council last spring. 

Representatives from the two City Councils and the Growth Council met several times over the summer to come up with a new contract, but Auburn councilors balked at the deal last fall. Lewiston councilors invited their Auburn counterparts to help negotiate a new contract, and Auburn agreed to fund the Growth Council’s operations through June 2014.

“The calls for substantive change have been largely from the other side of the river,” Cayer said. “It’s been a challenge getting to this point and we’re OK with that. A good challenge can be a good thing for any elected official.”

The bulk of the workshop meeting will focus on economic development activities that have worked, those that have not and new ones that have not yet been tried.

Damicus is scheduled to meet with a sub-group of councilors three times after the Jan. 30 meeting to refine those lists and help create a new scope of services for economic development.

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