FARMINGTON — A new slate of officers was elected when the Farmington Downtown Association met Wednesday at Homestead Bakery for its annual meeting.

Michael Mansir completed his term as president, an office he has held since 2008, and nominated Janice Maxham as the incoming president for this year. Other officers elected included Donna Wheeler, vice president, Michael Blanchet, secretary, and Stephen Gray, treasurer.

Mansir was honored for his service to the association, first as treasurer from 1998 to 2008 and then as president from 2008 to 2011. Wheeler presented him with a plaque.

After adopting the organizational strategy of the Maine Downtown Network, the association has developed five committees, including an executive committee, which meet and work on projects monthly and then report to the larger group.

A $290,000 investment in the downtown area is about to be undertaken within the next year or so, design committee chairman and Town Manager Richard Davis said. The town has applied for grant funding for improvements at Meetinghouse Park and pedestrian improvements at the back of the park on Pleasant Street continuing down Front Street, he said. 

The project includes repaving and leveling the sidewalk closer to the street level in front of Gerard Williams law office and continuing down to the Western Mountain Financial Services building, which ties in with a proposed staircase from Front to Main street, which voters will be asked to approve at town meeting.

New street light fixtures are also being considered.

The committee is also planning a workshop in April to help businesses design window displays, he said.

The economic committee has produced a brochure, Starting Your Business Downtown, and remains busy with other projects, Chairwoman Alison Hagerstrom said.

Nearly 200 surveys have been gathered from people and shoppers downtown, organization committee Chairwoman Donna Wheeler said. With a target of finishing by the end of February, these will be given to a consultant, Craig Freshley, to tabulate and the results will be shared with the community in a June session called Community Conversation, she said.

The promotions committee has started regular events to help draw people into town, explained Chairwoman Beth Beaudoin. A Cupid Collection for children is planned for Saturday followed by St. Patrick’s and Easter events.

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