Small Maine Towns, What Makes One Great?
Maine is small towns. A rural state with just a tad over a million people.
Actually, to be exact 1.329 million total, revealed the 2012 US Census head count. But what characteristics help make a small Maine town great? For starters a river winding through, a lake in town or nearby or ocean shoreline helps. For recreation, for visual pleasure each of the four seasons. Walking, bike paths and picnic areas with benches along that water front are an attraction to locals and tourists alike.
A college or university in that small Maine town adds an educational, cultural gem facet.
Being a county seat with historic buildings contributes to the local charm. Help make it an economic attraction destination. Parks for use for free community band concerts. For green space. For sporting events all intensify the shine, sparkle, luster of the small Maine town jewel. Tennis and basket ball courts, little league complexes, ice hockey skating arenas. That all attract out of towners to tournaments. Help fill local coffers. Bring in a new dollar that turns over six times. Fueling the fierce pride, love and respect the towns people have for their Maine village.
Mountain views, state parks, something to look at with the natural setting adds to the horsepower of the small Maine town too.Hiking, skiing, Maine snow sledding, four wheel ATV trails.
All keep town residents happy, a reason for natives to stay.
Something extra to cause tourists to visit.
And hang around. Happy campers.
Year after year.
If the local Maine town economy is diversified, not monoculture but expansive agriculturally, wood industry wise, then local jobs happen.
Border Maine towns enjoy Canadian retail traffic. All those trips across the boundary for milk, gas, turkeys, etc. Eh?
Manufacturing with the cost of fuel for heating, transportation to and fro forces causes challenges. Means being highly creative to maintain jobs, add to that segment of employment. Having the fastest internet connection for telecommuters, local businesses gives the small Maine town higher marks.
Clear vision by the local Maine town fathers laying out the community. Followed up by a sound comprehensive zoning plan. Updated to reflect sound development needs. For success, growth, maintaining the Maine community. Work ethic instilled growing up, low cost utilities, availability of abundant raw natural resources all help the rise and fall of a small Maine town.
But the attitude of the people. The tone of their conversations, the way they treat each other. Even when a difference of opinion on the right direction to steer, adjust, guide the small Maine town happens is key. The principles of a winning sports team resonate thru out the successful Maine community. Sensitive to not overspend, waste resources. To keep the tax base high school skinny, highly efficient so the taxpayer feels he, she is getting their money’s worth. And don’t encourage their kids to move anywhere else. Closing the door on the option of sticking around, carrying the passed torch in their small Maine hometown.
A quality health care facility, elderly housing options, a diversity of churches and quality schools are vital building blocks of the Maine town.
Good vets, lawyers, accountants, car repair and tire shops. Often the quality of the local Maine library is one of the first areas a relocating, retiring renter or real estate buyer expects to find. Good banking options, an attitude to help new businesses get off the ground is key in small Maine towns.
The ability to walk to the local movie theatre, downtown to a coffee shop, restaurant is a big plus for a city dweller.
Who worries daily about personal safety.
Or is on house arrest. Jammed sardine tight in a small, sky high level expensive apartment. Too much. Or microscopic house lot. Not able to move around freely without fear in sketchy neighborhoods depending on the time of the day. That’s no way to live. That’s not Maine.
Small Maine towns offer freedom, space, clean natural resources.
The chance to be involved, a part of the community to share talents, to make it greater. The Maine town should be big enough to offer adequate lodging, motel rooms. And bed and breakfasts, inns, camp grounds and cabins for rent on local lakes. Having a local Maine airport, good transportation system for major US highways, Interstate 95 exits help keep people moving. New dollars coming into the local economy.
The civic and social clubs, local railroad, agricultural, lumbermen historic museums all add another Maine small town dimension. Community theatre, other fine performance outlets with local artisans give another boost. Making the small Maine town attractive to all ages means taking inventory of what qualities we have to promote. What we need to develop around that we don’t possess. But could in time with blood, sweat and tears.
Farmers markets, food co-ops, flea markets, car cruise ins, state fairs, antique shops and a variety of small retailers, service providers.
All needed in small Maine towns too. Along with a shop local, close to home attitude from the town residents.
How does your small Maine town stack up? I’m pretty proud of the one I live, work, play and raised a family in.