Kennebunk @ @Work Newsletter

Volume III Issue 1
January  2019

Town Hall Goose

Editor's Update

The Town Hall Goose must be looking for warmer weather-- as we all are. Meanwhile, Kennebunk@Work starts 2019 with highlights of the activities of the Economic Development Committee. 

Included in this issue is a historical perspective on how Kennebunk started provided by Mia Millefoglie, which includes details about Fort Larrabee on the Mousam River. 

Also included is a list of current EDC members with an introduction to the newest member, Justin Young; "Kennebunk By the Numbers" gives insight into the number and types of businesses in town; Todd Shea, General Manager of Kennebunk Light and Power describes some exciting development in West Kennebunk with construction of a 4 Megawatt solar array to supplement power to residents, and EDC Chair Robert Georgitis covers recent and future development. As always, we also extend a warm welcome new businesses that have opened in town since our last newsletter.

Looking forward to an eventful 2019! 

Editor: Steve Hrehovcik
The Larrabee Garrison

Larrabee's Garrison: A Discovery Along the Mousam River

With a Nor’easter brewing, I diverted from my usual walk at the Kennebunk beaches to the more sheltered Bridle Path along the Mousam River. I noticed the Museum in the Streets sign — part of a self-guided walking tour throughout Kennebunk marking twenty-five prominent architectural treasures and historical sites. 

On the Bridle Path, wooden posts with photographs and descriptions reveal the site of the former Butland Shipyard, a cemetery, and the Larrabee Garrison. The Garrison sparked my interest, so I continued to a granite monument commissioned by historian William Barry, in the early 1900s. It commemorated the site and the graves of town settlers.   

Thanks to the Brick Store Museum and some local historians, I learned that William Larrabee built a small house on this site in 1714. His house and those of John Looke and Thomas Wormwood were enclosed by a substantial lumber barrier reaching 14 feet high. This became the first permanent settlement of Kennebunk, known as the Larrabee Garrison. It was one of several forts built to protect early settlers from raids by Native American. During hostilities, up to 200 local residents would take refuge within these walls.

Four tribes—Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot—known collectively as the Wabanaki or “People of the Dawnland” - inhabited the land we call Maine for about 13,000 years. At the time of this settlement, the Native American population had been devastated by epidemics and the impact of European colonists settling on the coast.  

In 1875, local historian Edward E. Bourne wrote a description of the garrison: “The structure was in the form of a parallelogram; it fronted southeast; or down the river.” He added, “There were three gates, one at each end and one on the side of the fort flanker. Within the walls were five houses… It was the largest building which has ever stood on in Kennebunk.”  

Three hundred years later, the descendants of these early settlers are still prominent names in our community. Three hundred years later, the names of the Native Americans have faded, but their stories rise along the earthen path that follows the rhythms of the Mousam River.  

Contributed by: Mia Millefoglie

What is the Economic Development Committee?

Kennebunk maintains a committed group of seasoned business executives who have volunteered their time to serve the interest of economic development in Kennebunk. The Economic Development Committee meets to discuss strategic development issues as well as to help individual business owners move specific business opportunities into prospering reality. 

The mission statement of the Economic Development Committee is to guide, assist, and enhance economic development within the community that is synergistic with the goals and actions of the Strategic Economic Development Action Plan (SEDAP). 

Membership of the EDC has changed in the last year. Here are the volunteers who work to bring new productive businesses to town and provide support for those who find Kennebunk an excellent place to operate their businesses:  

  • Bob Georgitis – Chairman
  • June Huston – Vice Chairwoman
  • Gary Dugas – Secretary 
  • Maureen Flaherty
  • Steve Hrehovcik
  • Jonathan Johnson
  • Rachael Phipps
  • Miriam Whitehouse
  • Justin Young – newest member: see his background below

Justin Young

Meet Justin Young –
newest EDC board member

Justin is a Director of Strategy at Unum Group and a member of the Unum US senior team. Justin's primary focus is helping to manage a multi-year strategic transformation and investment portfolio of Business and IT change initiatives.

Prior to Unum, Justin worked in several analytics and strategy roles at Liberty Mutual in Boston, MA. In addition, Justin is a Board Member on the Salem State University Foundation and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut and an MBA in Strategy and Innovation from Boston University. Justin lives in Kennebunk with his wife Rachel (and dog Allie). Welcome, Justin!

Kennebunk By The Numbers

Here is a list of the types and number of businesses on our tax rolls in Kennebunk:

Kennebunk By The Numbers

Contributed by: Daniel J. Robinson, Director of Assessments 

Kennebunk: Certified Business-Friendly

Welcome to new business activities…

Kennebunk became a “Certified Business-Friendly Community” from Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development in 2013. The town continues to welcome new businesses and help existing businesses provide valued services and products to our residents and visitors.
We are pleased to welcome the following businesses that opened since our last newsletter:

Brennan & Rogers PLLC - 2 Storer Street Suite 111, Law Practice; 
Owners: Mary K. Brennan, Smilie Rogers                               
GPS Physician Group PC - 3 Brazien Lane, Medical Services;
Owner: Gary Bruce Bernett                       
Lucky Star Restaurant Inc. - 45 Portland Road Suite 3A, Restaurant/Lounge,
Owner: Winnie Li                
Martha & Tom, LLC - 2 Morning Walk Lane, Gift Store;
Owner: Martha Huestis, Thomas Bryne                 
Michael E. O’Brien Associates - 62 Portland Road #47, Accounting & Tax Practice;
Owner: Michael O’Brien
Phoenix Partners Inc. DBA Lower Village Laundry - 169 Port Road #42, Laundry Mat; Owners: Tim Hagelin, Heidi Tarr
Sacred New Beginnings - 149 Alfred Road West Kennebunk, Life Coaching;
Owners: Nancy Bariluk-Smith
Sarah Wooldridge LMT - 2 Storer Street Suite 401, Massage Therapy;
Owner: Sarah Wooldridge             
Serenity Cleaning - 24 Cat Mousam Road, Cleaning Service;
Owner: Stacey Ames                                 
Skapjana - 20 Western Avenue, Graphic Design & Photography;
Owner: Fred Twombly         
Compiled by: Tabetha Barden, Town Clerk’s Office  

Kennebunk Light and Power District Partners 

with DG Maine Solar on 4 MW Solar Array 

A section of the 4 Megawatt Solar Array under construction in West Kennebunk
A section of the 4 Megawatt Solar Array under construction in West Kennebunk

In the past few months residents of Kennebunk may have noticed activity in the vicinity of the Kennebunk Light and Power District substation located in West Kennebunk.

In August of 2017, KLPD entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with DG Maine Solar for the construction of a 4 Megawatt AC solar array – a series of solar panels. The Power Purchase Agreement states that all the power generated here will stay within the district’s boundaries and provide 4 million kilowatt hours of solar energy to our customers. Although it is a small percentage of the total kWh that KLPD customers use in a year, KLPD’s Board of Trustees were intent on finding additional ways to add to the renewable energy portfolio that the district provides.

DG Maine Solar, LLC has been responsible for the project since its inception, having successfully provided the lowest cost per kWh of any of the ½ dozen responders to KLPD’s Request for Proposals for the construction of this solar array. After securing Federal, State, and Local permitting requirements, DG Maine Solar, LLC broke ground in October of 2018.

Quite a bit of work has been completed on the site since groundbreaking, with approximately 11,000 solar panels being installed on almost 15 acres of land.  KLPD anticipates commercial operation in late January or early February of 2019. The Power Purchase Agreement will run for 20 years from the date of commercial operation, which will take KLPD into 2039.  Additional sites may be identified for development in the future.

Contributed by Todd Shea, General Manager, KLPD

 Bob Georgitis, EDC Chair

Chairman’s Corner

As we begin the new year, we like to look back at our accomplishments in the year before. 

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) invested much of its time on the seasonal Amtrak stop. This initiative ended when the Selectman considered the project too costly and as the wrong site. Despite this setback, we continued our business outreach program and plan to expand that effort in 2019. 

In the coming months the committee will review the new update to the town wide Comprehensive Plan and tackle the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Economic Development Action Plan (SEDAP) it completed in 2014. In addition, the EDC will continue its focus on the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) program along with the Lower Village Committee on ways to fund implementation of the master plan just completed this past year. 

Robert W. Georgitis, Chairman, Economic Development Committee

The EDC meets the first Thursday of each month at 5 PM in the Town Hall, with the exception of July when there is no meeting. Meetings are open to the public and we welcome your participation. Let us know your concerns and suggestions to help make Kennebunk a great place to live, raise family and do business.   

Kennebunk @ Work

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