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Community economic development plan


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Draft Final for CED301 SNHU

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Community economic development plan

  1. 1. COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN St. George, Maine Elizabeth Matthews CED-301, SNHU
  2. 2. St. George, Maine Knox County, Mid-Coast, Rural Year Around Population: 2,591 Male: 48.6%, Female: 51.4% Seasonal Population: additional 2,900 residents for the summer months. Median Age: 51.7 years Maine Median Age: 43.5 US Median Age: 36.8 Median HouseValue: $219,996 Median Income: $54,056 Unemployment: 3.1% Small downtown village with most homes in outlying areas.
  3. 3. Economy Occupation Male: Agriculture, 22% of population Female: Education, 15% of population Fishing industry, 135 Lobster boats, several dealers for bait and lobster shipping. Seasonal tourism, is upcoming major economic player Quickly gaining retiree population as their vacation properties become permanent homes.
  4. 4. Affordable Housing • Property taxes are rising, pushing out many fixed income families. • Other than fishing and the elementary school, there are no professional jobs on the peninsula. There are two general stores, and nine restaurants in town limits, seven restaurants are seasonal. Of those, both general stores and two of the restaurants are owned by an outside company. Average pay for these positions is $10/hour. • Median rent (Not including utilities): • 1 bedroom, $900/month • 2 bedroom, $1,100/month • 3 bedroom, $1,400/month
  5. 5. Affordable Housing Barriers • Rising PropertyTaxes • Of the 1,777 homes, 1,025 are owner occupied, 198 renter occupied and 544 are inhabitable, vacation homes or seasonal rentals. • WorkingWaterfrontTax Break • Values the land for current use, not what it could be. • Town Ordinance, new single family homes must have at least 1 acre of land. • New multi family homes must have at least 5 acres, with at least 30% kept green. • Maine MLS; lowest price for 1+acre with no improvements, $29,000 • 5+acres, no improvements, buildable, $58,000 • The town Select Board has openly stated they are not looking to add growth to our community.
  6. 6. Intervention Strategies • Gain affordable housing without adding to growth. • Give monetary consideration to families invested in the community. Would be an incentive to give back to the community through volunteering or working full-time in town. • Gain affordable housing with adding growth. • Remodel or rebuild abandoned homes. Many homes have been abandoned due to disrepair or when an elderly person passes away and the out of state family has no interest in the property. • Change working waterfront tax break. Currently the tax break has allowed many lobstermen to stay in business. However, the property is prime waterfront property and could be profitable for a developer.
  7. 7. Intervention Strategies • Gain affordable housing with growth, cont. • Change the town ordinance on property size and new homes. There are many lots available in town that are under one acre and buildable. • Elect a Select Board that is open minded to community growth. Four of the five members are on their first term of service, but all of them are over 45 years old, and all but one of them have not lived here longer than 10 years. • Add a property tax break to those owners who rent out their home year around, rather than let it sit empty for most of the year.
  8. 8. Outcomes • Adding incentives to either residents or to remodel and/or open up vacation homes to year around rentals would only add to the town tax burden. Again, raising property tax. • To change theWorkingWaterfrontTax Break would be at the state legislation level, and is highly unlikely. Maine is not looking to add large estates or condos to the waterfront. • This would add undo burden to the working class of the community and would take away from the fishing agriculture. • The ordinance on property size is there to keep the community the same aesthetically and to protect the environment. • There are no water or sewer services outside of the village. Property of one acre would leave enough room for septic system and fresh water well to work properly.
  9. 9. Why Change? St.George has a long deep history of being a hardworking fishing village. The state of Maine and the town of St.George are working hard to make sure we don’t lose this way of life. Right now, St. George can not sustain any growth without raising taxes. This is not good for anyone. Therefore, the town needs to take care of their residents to ensure everyone has a healthy affordable place to call home.