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  • Economic & Community Development Department

    The Economic and Community Development Department is committed to making Rockland the place to do business in Midcoast Maine. There are a number of projects, programs and initiatives the Department is undertaking to retain and attract businesses and entrepreneurs to Rockland and assist businesses to startup and expand

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    Latest Economic & Community Development Department News

    Community Bike Survey!

    Please respond to the Rockland Community Bike Survey!   Do you live, work, or spend time in Rockland? The City of Rockland wants to hear from you!   The Rockland Community Bike Survey is [...]

    Economic & Community Development Department FAQs

    Economic & Community Development Department Documents & Forms

    Here is a list of some of the commonly used Economic & Community Development Department documents & forms. Note that you can also obtain these forms directly from the Economic & Community Development Department. If you do not find the document or form you are looking for, please feel free to call us (207) 594-0306 or request your document online.

    About Rockland Economic & Community Development Department

    As much as the City is and should be a thriving place for business it should also be a thriving place to live, work and play.  The Economic & Community Development Department works on a variety of community projects and programs to promote the City and improve the well-being of its residents.  This includes encouraging the development of infrastructure and facilities and seeking resources and community investments to build a sustainable future. Learn more about doing business in Rockland, our economic development services and community planning & development projects.

    Economic & Community Development Department Additional Information & Statistics

    The mission of economic and community development is to foster a business friendly environment; and environment that promotes retention and expansion of local businesses; welcomes new business; improves the overall business climate; and fosters beneficial relationships between the city and all local business.  Encouraging and facilitating responsible economic and community development is absolutely critical to our efforts to improving Rockland.

    Rockland’s Community & Economic Development Department is responsible for many of the long term strategic and proactive initiatives that achieve the City’s objectives regarding place-making, neighborhood revitalization, job creation and economic enhancement.   The activities of the Community & Economic Development Department facilitate the City’s strategic investment in our community that ensure long term social and economic sustainability.

    One of the strongest arguments in support of community based economic development is that it increases the tax base and generates additional revenue which supports, maintains, and improves local services and infrastructure, such as roads, parks, libraries, and emergency medical services.  However, in Rockland there are many additional aspects to community based economic development that build healthy and sustainable communities, such as the following:

    Building the Local Economy

    • Job Development, Retention, and Attraction – community based economic development creates the job market improvements for better wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
    • Business Retention - businesses feel appreciated by the community and, in turn, are more likely to stay in town, contributing to the economy.
    • Economic Diversification - a diversified economic base reduces a community’s vulnerability to economic downturns.
    • Fostering Entrepreneurship and Local Business - successful community based economic development often occurs when community members are provided with skill s and tools necessary to produced goods and services which are consumed in the local market to a greater degree.\

    Neighborhood & Downtown Revitalization

    • Productive reuse of Property - property used for its “highest and best use” maximizes the value of that property.
    • Encouraging a wide range of housing opportunities - which serve all segments and income levels within our population.
    • Increasing Reinvestment Opportunities – particularly in established neighborhoods, our downtown and commercial corridors.

    Community Planning

    • Planning community infrastructure and facility upgrades - are key to investing in our community to retain and attract residents and businesses.
    • Community based master planning and land use planning - ensures that strategic areas in the City are developed or redeveloped in a manner that is aligned with the community's vision and achievable given economic and financial realities of the community.
    • Rockland was one of 25 communities in the entire country to win a $50,000 Startup in a Day prize. These funds will be used to develop Smart Start Rockland, an online system that will allow new businesses to complete all the permits and licenses they need to start their business in one day.
    • Received a $100,000 CDBG Microenterprise Assistance Grant to assist two small businesses, Bixby Inc. and Midcoast Music Academy with expansions.
    • Developed new Housing Redevelopment Program Guidelines and worked with the Economic Development Advisory Committee and area not for profit housing developers on a program to address housing affordability in a comprehensive manner.
    • Provided businesses expansion, retention and attraction assistance to over 25 businesses. This equates to upwards of $610,000,000 of investment interest in Rockland in the past year alone.
    • Worked with the towns of Rockport and Owls Head to develop the Broadband Plan and Network Designs report by Tilson Technology.
    • Secured $15,000 in funding from the Maine Coastal Program to redesign and engineer upgrades to the Public Pier. The project has commenced.
    • Worked with the Public Services Department and the Harbor Trail Committee to develop plans and cost estimates for the Atlantic Street segment and the bridge over Lindsey Brook at Lermond Cove.
    • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to develop plans and programs to utilize volunteer resources.
    • Complete Smart Start Rockland and market this tool to businesses and prospective businesses in the City.
    • Secure grants from MDOT and the Economic Development Administration to redevelop the Municipal Fish Pier.
    • Implementation of the 2011 Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan, which includes engineering design plans and boundary surveys to realign streets, discussing land swaps with landowners and engineering for converting Commercial Street into a one way street.
    • Commence the Housing Rehabilitation Program.
    • Investigate opportunities for public private partnerships to increase access to affordable gigabit fiber to the premise broadband service in Rockland.
    • Fundraise for the Lindsey Brook bridge and Lermond Cove portion of Harbor Trail and build this segment of the trail.
    • Work with the Code Enforcement Department to rewrite Chapter 19 so that our land use ordinance is more user-friendly, logical and in line with the goals and strategies in our Comprehensive Plan.
    • Develop a plan to address the shortage of available industrial land, in comparison to the demand, in Rockland.
    • Work with RSU 13 and/or other educational institutions on entrepreneurship education and development.
    • Work with the Harbor Management Commission and Harbor Park Redesign Committee to begin implementing the redevelopment of Harbor Park and the Public Pier.
    • Work with eligible local businesses to apply for CDBG Microenterprise Assistance and Economic Development Program funding and other types of business resources & assistance.

    Contact the Economic & Community Development Department

    You can contact the Economic & Community Development Department using the details below or by completing the online form.
    Office hours: Monday — Friday8:00am –  4:30pm (Closed public holidays)

    (207) 594-0306
    Economic & Community Development Department Office

    (207) 594-9481
    Economic & Community Development Department Fax

    Rockland City Hall, 270 Pleasant Street, Rockland, Maine 04841
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