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January 12, 2018

Grassroots effort to create ‘roadmap’ for revitalizing Katahdin Region

A grassroots effort calling itself the Katahdin Collaborative is kicking off a year-long regional visioning process in February to look for ways to revitalize the Katahdin Region.

The Aroostook Republican reported the collaborative, comprising municipalities, community groups, businesses, clubs and organizations, hired Future iQ, a global consulting firm, to facilitate the process, which will be the first regionwide initiative to create a long-term vision and action plan for the future.

According to the mission statement posted on its Facebook page, the collaborative seeks "to facilitate communication, leverage resources and foster collaboration among volunteer groups, businesses, non-profit institutions and municipalities working toward the revitalization of the Katahdin Region," which has suffered population loss and unemployment due to collapse of the paper industry and other factors.

The Aroostook Republican reported that the coalition plans to launch the visioning process next month and is advertising for a 14-month, part-time project coordinator to assist in coordinating upcoming meetings, distributing information and serving as a point of contact for those seeking more information about the project, which is called "Katahdin Gazetteer: A Road Map to the Future."

The road map, which is funded by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and Jane's Trust, is expected to be ready for distribution in the winter of 2019, the newspaper reported.

State Rep. Steve Stanley, D-Medway, told the newspaper that the grassroots visioning effort is "key to redeveloping a region that was once dependent on a paper manufacturing facility for a majority of its economic resource."

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