Vol. 1, Issue 6                                                          June 29, 2017
New Aroostook County Visitors Guide Unveiled at NMDC Annual Meeting 
   PRESQUE ISLE — A completely redesigned Aroostook County Tourism Visitors Guide and the acceptance of the Northern Maine Development Commission’s Annual Report highlighted the organization’s Annual Meeting held Thursday, June 22 at Northern Maine Community College.

   NMDC member representatives were shown a digital copy of the new guide by Matt Kovacevich, Account Director for Thalo Blue Design, LLC. Thalo Blue revamped the region’s 68-page visitor guide, updating the editorial content and sold advertising in the guide.

   Kovacevich said he and his partner Catherine Creighton were excited to be given the opportunity to create a piece that spotlights the region’s unique character and share with potential visitors to The County an authentically Maine experience.

   He added the publication is currently being printed and will soon be shipped to NMDC in Caribou for distribution.

   Also at the meeting, NMDC staff presented on highlights from the previous fiscal year contained in the Annual Report. Dave Spooner, Loan Officer and Director of Business Development, said the Business Finance Division closed 36 loans totaling $1,634,514 in fiscal year 2016-17. Those loans helped created 24 jobs and retained about 148. He added lending activities were County wide and even into Washington County.

   Alain Ouellette, Director of the Planning and Development Division, continued on the economic development theme discussing three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects in the region, two in the Mars Hill area and another potential TIF in Caribou. He also highlighted a façade improvement project in Ashland, the 27 municipalities assisted through the Community Development Block Grant technical assistance program and successes in the Brownfields program returning contaminated properties to the tax rolls.

   Dana Delano, Procurement and Technical Assistance (PTAC) Manager, outlined his program’s activities in the past 12 months. He said he provided 523 hours of counseling time to help businesses secure government contracts. He also assisted 101 unique clients, resulting in more than $37-million in federal, state and local awards in Washington and Aroostook counties.

   Also at the Annual Meeting, the NMDC officers were selected. Jim Risner, Town Manager of Fort Fairfield, is Chairperson. Keith Brown of Washburn is the Vice-Chair. Dave Cyr, Town Manager of Mars Hill is Treasurer and new Van Buren Town Manager Nancy Troeger is Secretary.

   Delano and Jon Gulliver were also recognized at the meeting for five years of service to NMDC.

   Earlier in the day the NMDC Executive Board met and approved a new member to the Aroostook County Tourism board. J.J. Roy, owner of the Inn of Acadia in Madawaska is the newest representative to the standing committee of NMDC, which oversees tourism marketing efforts in the region.

    New NMDC Executive Board Chairman Jim Risner presents a token of appreciation to outgoing Chairman Ralph Dwyer at the Annual Meeting held last week. 
    NMDC's Josh Nadeau has been named State Star by the Maine SBDC.
Nadeau Recieves State Honor

   AROOSTOOK COUNTY – The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) has selected Josh Nadeau as the 2017 State Star. The award, given annually, recognizes a member of the Maine SBDC staff that has shown exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business success.

   Nadeau is a center director and certified business advisor at the Maine SBDC at Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) in Caribou. He works with entrepreneurs and small businesses in Aroostook County to start and grow their businesses. In the two years Nadeau has been with the Maine SBDC, he has spent 1,890 hours advising 221 clients. He’s helped to start 23 businesses, create/retain 154 jobs, and generate almost $6.5 million in capital.

   “Josh has been with the Maine SBDC for only a short time and we’ve watched him grow substantially in his position. He’s driven to achieve his goals, and dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. He’s brought new energy to Aroostook County and is a great representative of the Maine SBDC and NMDC. We are lucky to have him as part of our team,” said Maine SBDC State Director, Mark Delisle.

   “Josh’s work has a significant impact on the number of clients served and economic opportunity for Aroostook County,” said NMDC Executive Director Robert Clark. “His teamwork with NMDC’s Business Finance Division has produced new and expanded businesses throughout Aroostook County.”

   Each year, America’s Small Business Development Centers recognizes top performers from programs around the country at its annual conference. A special reception is being held on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee to honor this year’s award winners.

Big Machias Lake Camps Under New Ownership with Assistance from NMDC

   T12 R8 WELS — If you call and schedule a hunting trip with Big Machias Lake Camps, LLC dba: Oxbow Outfitters, LLC (BMLC) you likely won’t notice a difference because Jeff Lavway, the new owner of BMLC is the same person who has been managing the day to day operations of the business for the past two years. On May 30th, Lavway officially purchased the business from Jeff O’Connor of Pennsylvania. Lavway has worked as a licensed Maine Guide since 2005 operating his own company, Northern Experience Guide Service in Gardner Creek from 2005-2013. Upon selling his business Lavway went to work for BMLC starting out as a guide and expanding his role each year until 2015 when he took over.

   In the industry, BMLC is very well-known as it has been around since the mid 1920’s. The business started out as a logging camp and transitioned to sporting camps in the mid 1960’s. Hunter’s and avid sportsmen travel from all around the United States and Canada to enjoy a tranquil piece of Northern Maine. Today BMLC has a total of 7 camps that sleep a total of 33 people. The company also has exclusive rights to 238 lease sites covering over 757,000 acres within the North Maine Woods.

   In addition to guided and unguided bear hunts, Lavway also provides moose hunts, deer hunts, bird hunting, and various types of fishing year-round.

   Once he decided to pursue the purchase of the business, he was referred to Northern Maine Development Commission where he worked closely with Josh Nadeau of the Small Business Development Center to develop an attractive business plan. Lavway knew the business was profitable, but to determine the business’s full potential, he sat down with Nadeau and worked through a 12-month cash flow projection over the course of a few meetings.

   After working with Nadeau, Lavway worked with David Spooner and Julie Corey, both loan officers at NMDC to secure the funding which would make this business transaction possible.

   To schedule a booking with Big Machias Lake Camps, call Lavway at 207-762-0432 or visit the website at www.bigmachias.com, or visit the facebook page at Big Machias Lake Camps.

   For more information about free small business advising and small business loans, contact Nadeau at 493-5765 or by email at jnadeau@nmdc.org or Spooner at 493-5766 or by email at dspooner@nmdc.org.

Orthoimagery Opportunities for Municipalities

     Orthoimagery combines aerial imagery and mapping.  In generic terms, orthoimagery is simply an aerial photograph that has been corrected to adjust for lens distortion, camera tilt, and topographical relief.  The result is an extremely accurate view of the surface of the Earth which allows for the measurement of true distance, precise digitization, and the exact placement of geographic symbols. This helps ensure that the final image has the same lack of distortion as a map.

    Orthoimagery is an extremely useful tool for municipal governments and is often used in economic development, tax parcel mapping and assessing, land planning and zoning, public safety, natural resource inventories and assessments, transportation management, operations and planning, emergency management, and 911 mapping, community addressing, and dispatching 911 calls.  Aroostook County has had very little work completed, but has an opportunity to obtain orthoimaergy in the future.

    Recently Joseph Young, Executive Director of the Maine GeoLibrary, presented orthoimagery base mapping acquisition and other mapping programs in progress at the State Level. The Maine GeoLibrary works to maintain and update the quality of the State’s geospatial data to the benefit of all Maine communities. These efforts are financially supported through partnerships involving all levels of government, public, private, and non-profit interests. One of these programs is the Orthoimagery Base Map program. In this program, all counties and communities have an opportunity to purchase new data at greatly reduced costs. Typical savings for communities are in the $20,000 to $25,000 range. For counties, the savings is over sixty-six percent of the total cost of acquisition. Once data is acquired through GeoLibrary efforts it is made available at no charge to counties, communities, public and private sectors.

    Additional information will be provided at the Aroostook Municipal Association meeting in July.

    The following link provides examples of orthoimagery projects in Maine


PO BOX 779, CARIBOU, ME, O4736