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Boosting tourism with ‘green’ resources

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) -

Officials say alternative energy sources could open the door for increased tourism here in The County. Kathy McCarty has more on an upcoming Zoom symposium designed to attract tourists interested in a more eco-friendly visit.

NMDC has consistently worked to promote alternative energy and other programs through the governor’s Climate Council. Now the agency is looking at alternative energy as a way to increase tourism.

“Aroostook County is really rimmed by New Brunswick and Quebec and there’s just a huge number of electric vehicle charging stations kind of rimming The County. And we thought that, you know, with the designation of two new scenic byways and a federal bicycle route, that if we truly are trying to attract people to the region, that we needed to offer some level of comfort for those that may have electric vehicles that they can charge their vehicles while they’re here,” says Jay Kamm, Senior Planner at Northern Maine Development Corporation.

With the installation of a level 2 charger at Riverside Park in Presque Isle, and growing interest in protecting the environment, officials are hoping an upcoming educational event will help promote the region as a green destination.

“We decided to, after hearing this input, that it’d be important that we educate the public, as well as the business community, regarding the EV technology. And so we thought it’s only fitting that not only the city would benefit but the entire county, to partner with our regional economic development arm at NMDC to host this EV Symposium on May 4th at 6 p.m.,” says Galen Weibley, Director of Economic and Community Development for the city of Presque Isle.

Jay Kamm says speakers for the free online event will be available to discuss grant opportunities and ways to keep costs down for installation and upkeep.

“I think the concern that we’ve heard statewide, you know, are we gonna see these rather large electric bills at these charging stations, and like I said, that’s where Efficiency Maine really has a little bit of a mindset change that, you know, we can meter these,” says Kamm.

Kamm says as electric vehicles and their ranges improve, so too will Maine’s tourism industry grow to meet the needs of their owners. For more information or to register, contact Jay Kamm at NMDC or Galen Weibley at Presque Isle City Hall. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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