Entrepreneurs celebrate college & state DOT partnership to help revitalize downtown via $11.2 million in infrastructure renovation

On October 21, 2022, Maine‘s governor, Janet Mills, visited small businesses in Waterville.

She was there to be briefed by municipal leaders on an $11.2 million partnership with Colby College and MaineDOT to revitalize the city’s historic downtown by renovating its infrastructure.

After having lunch with community leaders at Lebanese Cuisine, Governor Mills was led on a walking tour of businesses by Waterville Mayor Jay Coelho, which included stops at Loyal Biscuit Co., Holy Cannoli, Universal Bread, The Record Connection, and Incense & Peppermints – Candy, Gift & Ice Cream Shop.

Governor Mills and Mayor Coelho were joined by Representatives Colleen Madigan and Bruce White, and MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan.

During the tour, the group visited the site planned for Head of Falls Village, a proposed residential and commercial redevelopment site aimed at expanding housing options and attracting business to the city’s downtown.

The revitalization of downtown Waterville is a success story – but it’s a story still being written,” said Governor Mills.

My administration will continue to work in partnership with Waterville and communities across our state to rejuvenate our historic downtowns, create housing that Maine people can afford, and make Maine the best place to start and grow a small business,” she added.

Earlier in the day, Governor Mills visited Thomas College, where she toured the new Sukeforth Family Sports Center, which had been dedicated that same week.

The 18,000 square foot facility will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for student athletes at the school, about 40% of the student body.

The center will include strength and conditioning facilities, locker rooms, an esports facility, and the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

This sports center represents the long-held dream of so many students who came before – those who competed on the fields and courts, and those who cheered in the stands,” said Chris Parsons, VP of Intercollegiate Athletics at Thomas College.

Athletics are a crucial thread in the fabric of the Thomas College community, and a healthy Athletics program drives enrollment and sustainability for the College,” he continied.

Since taking office, Governor Mills has taken significant steps to increase the availability of affordable housing in Maine, including signing into law the Maine Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the single largest state investment in housing in Maine’s history.

She is also investing $50 million for housing initiatives through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

All photos courtesy of the Office of the Governor of Maine.

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