MOUNT DESERT — The Summer Residents Association (SRA) has donated $7,500 toward the estimated $10,000 in legal fees and other costs associated with forming a nonprofit Economic Development Corporation to promote the economic revitalization of the town, particularly Northeast Harbor.
The town will pick up the remainder of the cost with funds budgeted for economic development activities.
Town Manager Durlin Lunt said the 501c3 corporation would expand on the efforts of the town’s Economic Development Committee, which has been working for the past few years with consultant Jackie Hewitt.
Lunt said that, as a separate, nongovernmental entity, the Economic Development Corporation would be able to “do things that towns generally are somewhat reluctant to do or perhaps are not even [legally] entitled to do,” such as raise private funds and help put together development projects.
“It will have the ability to work outside the very rigorous confines of municipal government,” Lunt said.
The Economic Development Committee last month requested the $7,500 contribution from the SRA.
SRA President Donald Graves said in a June 7 letter to Lunt, “As Jackie Hewitt’s work winds down, the [Economic Development] Committee’s request, in the view of the SRA board, represents a logical and important step forward. It is consistent with the SRA mission of ‘working with the town of Mount Desert on issues that concern the current and future well-being of the town… .’ ”
Lunt said the proposed Economic Development Corporation would have a board of directors that might or might not include some municipal officials.