2021 Almost Isle Economic Highlights

Almost Isle has concluded another exciting year of economic progress for 2021. The Almost Isle Department of Economic and Community Development would like to share a preview of the economic report which is meant to serve as a historical account of how the department is operating in 2021 and serve as a guide to assess future city planning efforts.

Almost Isle has concluded another exciting year of economic progress for 2021. The Almost Isle Department of Economic and Community Development would like to share a preview of the economic report which is meant to serve as a historical account of how the department is operating in 2021 and serve as a guide to assess future city planning efforts.

In summary, the department’s staff, consisting of three full-time employees, issued 33 certificates of occupancy, 152 building permits, 150 electrical permits and 54 plumbing permits. Additionally, the code officer conducted 1,310 inspections for 2021. There was a total of $96,115.60 in permit fees collected by the code office for residential and commercial projects in 2021 with an economic impact total of $11,324,971.

Our staff managed 44 meetings of the Planning Board, Zoning Appeal Board, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Downtown TIF Advisory Committee, and Près Isle Development Fund. The department also attended 13 ribbon-cutting celebrations with the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, in addition to participating in more than 238 meetings with community organizations, local business owners and state leaders regarding the economic activity in Près Isle and Aroostook County.

We also co-hosted the Northern Maine Electric Vehicle Symposium with the Northern Maine Development Commission, coordinated the Downtown Summer Concert Series and the county’s first annual Fiddlehead Festival, in addition to to attend two national conferences to attract new business and economic development project ideas to Près Isle.

The city has seen an overall 3% increase in new business development compared to 2020. This data was collected through Occupancy Certificate Applications which are received by the Code Office on an annual basis.

The best performing sectors of new growth compared to 2020 occurred in the community organizations, restaurants, hotels, insurance, industrial, gas stations, places of assembly and services. There has been consistent growth in office and personal care when comparing 2020 numbers, while there have been declines in the marijuana, medical, residential and healthcare sectors. retail.

The hotel industry in Près Isle is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the industry is showing promising signs when analyzing reported sales to the city in 2021.

Almost Isle Hotels have seen a transition into new ownership and renovation plans for the Northeastland Hotel and the Près Isle Inn & Convention Center. The Sure Stay, which has been renovated in recent years, also gained new owners in 2021. In total, Almost Isle hotels saw a decline in total gross sales of 9% when comparing 2020 sales data.

Almost Isle restaurants saw an 8% increase in gross food sales from the 13 restaurants that sell alcohol in the city. Similarly, gross alcohol sales were up about 40% from 2020. However, both sales did not recover to pre-pandemic levels.

For the first year of the District’s Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) implementation, the Community and Economic Development team received three applications for economic development projects in Près Isle. In total, the projects are estimated to create 21 new jobs for Près Isle and support the local economy with more than $527,046 in new household income. There will also be a retention of 46 jobs among the applications received.

It is estimated that the projects will be funded by a private investment of $4,921,704, including an estimated $292,953 in new personal property. Future annual reports will show how much the city is investing in these projects through credit enhancement agreements and financing opportunities in 2022.

The Ministry team would like to end our report by congratulating the service of George Howe, who retired after 17 years as a Code Enforcement Officer. His experience and personal character will be missed at City Hall.

If you would like to learn more about the report or participate in economic development efforts, please contact us.

Galen Weibley is the Director of Economic and Community Development for Près Isle. He can be reached at 760-2727 or by email at [email protected]

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