Governor LePage Account Executive Helping Town of Gray Solidify a "Road Map" to Economic Development

AUGUSTA – Economic development planners in the Town of Gray were hoping for some advice and direction. A call to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Governor’s Account Executive, Ron McKinnon, immediately got the ball rolling.

“This is the primary mission of DECD and my team of Business Account Executives,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Whether it’s working directly with businesses or partnering with our cities and towns, DECD is well equipped to be a catalyst for economic development.”

“Gray has a tremendous opportunity to shine,” said LePage Account Executive Ron McKinnon, who recently met with town officials. “Its location between two of Maine’s largest cities and potential for a diverse economic footprint opens the door to real possibilities for companies in a variety of sectors.”

Discussion at the meeting focused on relationship building and how DECD could assist new businesses and those existing businesses that may be looking to expand. McKinnon also encouraged the group to: take good inventory of the town’s economic assets; develop goals and objectives around the recently completed Business Survey; clearly define what kind of economic development the Town would likely target; and what specific development would fit in certain areas of town.

“We really appreciate the accessibility, willingness and business friendly approach taken by DECD to come to Gray and explain what programs and services are available,” said Gray’s Director of Economic Development Beth Humphrey.

For most Maine communities, a fully developed and State of Maine approved, comprehensive plan serves as the official “road map” for how a community goes about growing and expanding its economic base.

Gray’s 2003 comprehensive plan was approved by the Town, but not by the State Planning Office. Governor’s Account Executive McKinnon has since contacted the Municipal Planning Assistance Program in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to facilitate a renewed application process for Gray.

At that point, the Town could be in a much better position to compete for new industry and economic opportunity.