FARMINGTON – Farmington is one of seven communities that have been selected to participate in a new Maine Downtown Network program to help keep its downtown vibrant and growing.
The Farmington Downtown Association is looking for the program to help members make a transition into an organizational structure and follow a four-point approach outlined by the Main Street Maine Program, an affiliate of the new program.
The Association did look at the Main Street program but felt it was way too much for them to handle including the cost of hiring a program director for three years, Association President Mike Mansir said Monday.
“We felt that even though we have a vibrant downtown, we can’t become complacent and we want to stay ahead of the curve,” Mansir said. “We feel it just gives us an organizational structure so we can maintain a very vibrant downtown.”
It is important not only to the businesses and professionals downtown, he said, but for the community as a whole.
Maine Downtown Network runs at a lighter pace and does not require a paid program manager, Roxanne Eflin, program manager of Maine Downtown Center, said Monday. All of the programs fall under the auspices of the Maine Development Foundation.
Maine Downtown Network representatives will help communities network and learn from each other and tap into resources using a four-point approach, Eflin said.
Those four points are organization, design including historic preservation, promotion and economic restructuring, she said.
Four committees will be set up to address the points.
The Farmington Downtown Association will get guidance and training on how to strengthen its organizational structure, promote the downtown to keep it viable, enhance design and advocate for historic preservation, among others.
Economic restructure is about working with existing business to help strengthen what they are already doing and find out what their needs are to continue to be vibrant, and to find out what the needs in the community are, Eflin said.
It’s all an effort to strengthen the downtown, she said.
To make it successful, Mansir said, it will take more than Association members and businesses. It will take everyone being interested in the downtown.
Other communities that were selected for participation in the program are Augusta, Bucksport, Lisbon, Millinocket, Norway and Presque Isle.
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The Farmington Downtown Association has been selected to participate in the Maine Downtown Network program, in effort to keep the downtown viable and continuing to grow.


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