Falmouth council earmarks funds for 300th anniversary

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FALMOUTH — The Town Council on Monday night approved appropriating $85,000 from a tax increment financing account towards the town’s 300th anniversary celebration.

The final vote was 6-1, with Councilor Andrea Ferrante opposed.

Erin Cadigan, the tercentennial coordinator, said plans for the 2018 celebration are moving along, but there is still a lot to get done. The appropriation will go mostly towards developing a marketing and branding strategy, and a multimedia project on the town’s history, along with Cadigan’s salary.

Cadigan said this phase of funding will get the celebration “on people’s radars” and get groups engaged.

The proposed budget would allocate $30,000 for Cadigan’s 15-hour-per-week job; $5,000 for logo development and branding; $25,000 for the multimedia project, which Cadigan said would contain published materials and digitized oral recordings; $10,000 for publicity and marketing, such as a website, social media presence and promotional materials; $10,000 for a grant program for local nonprofits, and $5,000 for miscellaneous expenses. Cadigan said the funding would fund the project to June 2017.

Town Manager Nathan Poore said he and staff are confident the appropriation would get the project through to the next fiscal year. He said the appropriation is required to keep the project moving forward and to begin the marketing phase.

The funding is coming from the OceanView and Natural Gas TIF, which the town established in 2015. Poore said the reason for using tax increment finances from that particular district is because Ocean View specifically can be used for funding community events.

A TIF is a public financing method that can be used for infrastructure, redevelopment and other community projects. Future expenses for 2018 will be requested later in the fall, when the council begins looking at new capital improvement and TIF development plans. 

In May, the council accepted the tercentennial committee’s final report, which determined there is community-wide support for a commemoration.

Recommendations included the items contained in the approved spending; organizing five to seven community events, such as a kickoff event on New Year’s Eve in 2017; events to bring people from outside Falmouth into town to boost the economy; challenges for residents to participate in, such as donating 300 volunteer hours to a nonprofit, and a grants program aimed at getting local nonprofits and other organizations involved.

The total estimated cost of the celebration is $282,000. However, according to the report, revenue from the event could offset about $90,000 of the cost. Other offsetting revenue could include grants, fundraising, and the sale of related merchandise, bringing the total cost down to $192,000.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Falmouth Town Hall

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.
  • Chew H Bird

    15 hours per week for $30,000.00 ?????? Really?