The Quality of Place Council (QOPC) met for the first time since being appointed by the Town Council on November 30, 2011. The mandate of the QOPC will be to implement Fort Fairfield’s Economic Development Investment Strategy. The development of the Investment Strategy provides the QOPC, the Town Council and administration a blue print of the community expectations for our future together. Its success will be predicated on how the plan is implemented. A clearly defined and transparent process is being established for prioritizing the goals that have been identified, developing access to funding and establishing accountability to the community.
The Quality of Place Council is composed of twelve members with three-year staggered terms. The Town Council initially appointed the committee members, and as terms expire, the QOPC will make recommendations to the Town Council for the approval of replacements. The initial twelve members are comprised of a member from each of the ten Vision Fort Fairfield committees with two additional members from the Board of Directors of the Frontier Development Corporation. Representing the Frontier Development Corporation are Steve Towle and Greg Murchison. The appointed members are: Troy McDougal, Stev Rogeski, Sarah Ulman, Phil Christensen, Michael Eisensmith, Kim Jones, Jay Edgecomb, Brent Churchill, Garrett Martin and Jacquie Martin.
Money will be made available for implementing the strategies and goals outlined in Economic Development Investment Strategy. These funds will be available from the Town’s UDAG fund and from the Frontier Development Corporation. If and when tax increment financing projects are approved, funds from those projects will be set-aside for this Plan. It will be incumbent upon the Town Manager and staff to seek additional funding, recognizing that the fund established by the Town Council will be considered as a match for other funding sources to implement the established goals.
Additional responsibilities of the Quality of Place Council will be to review these goals and strategies and on an annual basis make recommendations to the Town Council for additional projects to be considered predicated on the needs at the time. The QOPC will look to the ten Vision Fort Fairfield committees as an additional resource in implementing the identified goals and strategies. They will meet no less than quarterly to review ongoing projects and to prepare recommendations to the Town Council for new ventures as is deemed appropriate.