MACHIAS, Maine — Although persistent rumors were dispelled Friday that two major retailers were headed to town, officials remained optimistic about Machias’ economic health.
Adam Lee of Auburn-based Lee Motors said Friday that local rumors he was preparing a property on Route 1 for a used car dealership were untrue.
Also Friday, a spokesperson for Reny’s stores said the company was not planning an expansion in Machias.
But many attending the Machias Downtown Revitalization meeting Friday morning said they saw small signs that the economy was picking up. Some existing businesses have moved to larger locations — such as The Family Dollar and The IT Store — while a new wine and cheese shop, The French Cellar, is due to open June 1 on Water Street. David Whitney of Whitney’s Wreaths and Whitney’s Tool Shed recently purchased Tri-Town Marine of Harrington and moved it to downtown Machias.
“These are all good signs,” Town Manager Chris Loughlin said. Every new business or expanded business gives people a reason to come to town or linger here, Loughlin said.
Revitalization panel members at the meeting also noted that the farmers market on Route 1 will reopen at the end of April, and a fish and seafood dealer recently committed to opening for business permanently on the dike.
Town workers are busy readying the town for a busy season, Loughlin said. Streets are being swept of winter sand and salt, as are downtown sidewalks, and the town dock has been reinstalled in the Machias River.
Loughlin said the large flower pots that line Main Street are at Jordan’s Greenhouse being filled and will be set out as soon as weather permits.
The next meeting of the committee will be held at 7 a.m. Friday, May 13, at Helen’s Restaurant.