Washington County Region Takes Steps to Safeguard its Future

Aerial view of Danforth. Photo courtesy the Town of Danforth.

From The Maine Monitor, December 16, 2023

With a new executive director, the Greater East Grand Region is working to generate economic activity. High-speed broadband is one early strategy.

As paper mills folded and other jobs in forestry were cut, opportunities and necessary services for the East Grand area’s roughly 2,000 year-round residents in the northern corner of Washington County and nearby Penobscot and Aroostook counties have mostly evaporated.

Faced with this stark reality, community leaders, deciding there might be strength in numbers, began working together to find solutions under the auspices of the citizen-designated Greater East Grand Region. In 2021, their vision took the form of a non-governmental organization, becoming the Greater East Grand Economic Council (GEGEC), created to boost the region’s prosperity.

At the top of the list is maintaining what they have left — only one of everything. One farm. One gas station. One restaurant. One health clinic. One hardware store. One retail grocery store. One bank…