Economic plan is considered

BAR HARBOR — A draft economic development plan that aims to even out the seasonal swing in employment here while preserving the qualities that make Bar Harbor special is under consideration by town councilors.

The plan was created by the economic development task force with the help of professional consultant Chuck Lawton. While creation of the plan was the primary goal of the task force, group chairman Pat Samuel is now requesting that councilors make the task force into a standing committee to oversee implementation of the plan’s recommendations.

A number of policy ideas and specific actions are recommended in the plan, with the goal of making “Bar Harbor a more vibrant, year-round community by creating more full-time, year-round jobs in town, by generating more in-town sales thus encouraging more businesses to remain open year-round, and by creating more lively community spaces and activities during the off-peak seasons.”

Overall, the plan suggests a mix of surveys, subcommittees and economic tools such as special tax districts to achieve its goals. Over the course of 22 pages, the plan lays out objectives to improve the business and employment base, increase the stock of rental housing, and build community infrastructure.

The plan is available for review at, under the planning department section, and also at the planning department office in the municipal building on Cottage Street.

Town councilors are expected to review the plan at a March meeting, when they also are likely to debate the merits of turning the economic development task force into a standing committee.

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