Kennebunk @ @Work Newsletter

Volume II Issue 4
July 2018

The Town Hall Goose dressed for the season

From the Editor

Goose looks all dressed up for the holidays ahead as the Economic Development Committee looks forward to progress in town. In this issue of Kennebunk@Work you’ll find a revealing look by Kathy Ostrander-Roberts at the historic area often overlooked while driving to Sanford on Route 99 – the Blueberry Plains; Town Manager, Mike Pardue provides updates on activities in town and as always, we welcome new businesses that have opened since our last newsletter. We wish them great success in Kennebunk and encourage all to visit and discover what they have to offer.

Steve Hrehovcik, Editor 

The Blueberry Plains of Kennebunk

14,000 years ago, this section of Kennebunk known as the 'Kennebunk Plains,' or the 'Blueberry Plains,' was formed by melting glaciers. The sandy barren soil which slopes gently to the Branch Brook had been a hunting ground for Native Americans, the location of a commercial blueberry harvesting operation and more recently became preserved for wildlife habitat and public use.

Northern Blazing Star, also known as Liatris Scariosa

Evidence of Native American campgrounds have been studied there as have 15 threatened or endangered types of flora and fauna, which inhabit this location. Most renowned, is the plant known as the Northern Blazing Star, or Liatris Scariosa, a member of the aster family. This location holds the largest concentration of the plant in the world, producing the purple flowers each August. Controlled burns of the area ensure the plant's survival and protect the plains from encroaching vegetation.

In the 1940's, the land was owned by Charles Chase who ran a blueberry harvesting operation. He supplied the US Navy with blueberries during World War II. Local youths harvested 70 bushels of blueberries per acre and earned 2 cents/pound for their labor. The berries were washed, packed and shipped overseas.  

Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area

In 1989, the land was sold for conservation. The Blueberry Plains are closed each year to vehicular traffic from May 1-September 1 to protect the ground and the nesting bird population. Several walking trails are open to the public. Dogs must be leashed. Public picking of blueberries is still allowed. 

Contributed by Kathy Ostrander-Roberts

Town Manager, Michael Pardue

Growing Our Business Community Through Planning and Partnering 

Thoughtful business retention and development does not occur by accident. It requires strategic forethought, coupled with deliberate steps, to insure the businesses that reside in town, remain in town. It also requires that as a community, we strive to make conducting business in Kennebunk as seamless as possible. Businesses stay in communities and come to communities where they know they are welcomed and valued. They also gravitate to communities that are considered “Business Friendly.”

Creating a “Business Friendly” environment begins with the establishment of a reputation that signals our community as one that conducts business in an easy and friendly manner.  As soon as an applicant comes forward to town expressing an interest in becoming a part of Kennebunk, we need to be nimble and move efficiently.
With that, I will be launching a pilot program that allows the position of Economic Development Director to be redefined. Although economic development is significant component of this effort, this new position will also be responsible for high level project management, designed to result in the seamless flow of information between applicants, staff and boards.

It is my belief that streamlining these steps will result in faster approval processes, therefore building the reputation needed to signal that Kennebunk is a great place to live, work, play and visit. This “Proof of Concept” pilot program will be launched in early October and evaluated over the next several months to determine its effectiveness.

Michael W. Pardue, Town Manager

Kennebunk: Certified Business-Friendly

A warm 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 business that have opened or changed ownership since our last newsletter.  

Elite Electrical – 7 Hammond Road, Electrical Contractor: Owner: James Smith.
Haven Veterinary House Call – Veterinary House Call Practice; Owner: Kelly M. Hill.
JA Dioguardi – 11 York Street, Consultant; Owner: Jo Ann Dioguardi.
Little Sprouts Preschool – 40 Holland Road, Preschool; Owner: Jennifer Smith.
Lucky Dog Tasting Room – 12 Western Avenue: Restaurant/Lounge, Owner: Kevin Lord, Tim Harrington.
Maritime Excavation and Welding – 34 Grove Street, Excavation and Welding,
Owner: Jonathan Thomas.
Sarah Wooldridge, LMT – 2 Storer Street, Suite 401, Massage Therapy: Owner: Sarah Wooldridge.

Information supplied by: Town Clerk's office

The EDC meets on the first Thursday of each month at 5 PM on the 3rd floor of Town Hall. There is no meeting in July. 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 a family and do business.   

Kennebunk @ Work

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