Richmond's Vision for Downtown Revitalization Becomes a Reality
Wright-Pierce plays key role in consensus building among stakeholders, securing funding and implementation of Master Plan goals.
Richmond is a quaint, waterfront Maine community bordered by the Interstate and the Kennebec River. The town has strong ties to the region's historic waterfront, as well as to its agricultural and manufacturing heritage. Like many of Maine's riverfront communities, it had seen a prolonged economic decline and its citizens recognized the need to revitalize their downtown and waterfront areas.
Wright-Pierce has been working with the Town since 2004 in this revitalization effort. A Downtown Revitalization Plan, focusing on specific overall community improvement goals, was developed as the starting point. The Plan development process involved extensive public input sessions in addition to interviews with town staff, residents and businesses. All stakeholders were thoroughly vetted.
Project Manager Travis Pryor believes that "Downtown Revitalization Plans" are not stand alone achievements in and of themselves. A development plan that sits on a shelf after creation is a thwarted effort. A community redevelopment plan should be a live document, a roadmap for implementing the community's goals. Wright-Pierce takes great pride in guiding this process and facilitating collaboration among all stakeholders to achieve their vision."
Successful Collaborative Effort
The Town of Richmond is a testament to that successful collaborative effort. Working closely with the townspeople, municipal staff and elected officials, the Richmond Utilities District, and the Town's Director of Economic and Community Development, Darryl Sterling, Wright-Pierce built support for plan implementation and assisted in obtaining local, state and federal funding, as well as the required permitting and regulatory approvals. The efforts have paid off. Mr. Sterling attributes the econmic boom the town is experiencing — two dozen new businessess and 300 new jobs — to the successful implementation of the Downtown Revitalization Plan.
Successful Procurement of Funding
The Town and the Richmond Utility District have completed the majority of the plan goals, securing over $5 million in local, state and federal funds. CDBG monies were among the funds the Town successfully procured with Wright-Pierce assistance. These are only awarded to one Maine Community each year. Richmond has received this grant twice in the past three years, while other Wright-Pierce clients have received this grant three years in a row, and four out of the past six years.
A Role Model for Community Revitilization
The Town of Richmond is recognized as a Town that has optimized its assets and created a better place to live, work and recreate.
Click to view video of Richmond's downtown revitalization success story.