Gardiner groups to host public input meeting on Heart of Gardiner plan

People who live or work in Gardiner, as well as visitors, are invited to share their ideas for a vibrant downtown area at a July 14 meeting — part of an effort to draft a downtown master plan for the next decade.


Anyone who lives or works in Gardiner, or visits the town, is invited to a visioning session that will likely contribute to the city’s new downtown master plan.

The meeting will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 14, at the Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center on Water Street.

“People have a lot of things to say and [a number of] complaints,” Melissa Lindley, executive director of Gardiner Main Street, said. “This is their chance to be heard and stress what’s important to them.” Gardiner Main Street seeks to promote the downtown area by encouraging both economic and cultural activities.

The group is joining the city of Gardiner, the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments and the Gardiner Library Association to craft the plan with the help of an outside consultant. It’s being funded by a Coastal Community Grant awarded last year, and by revenue from the city’s Downtown Tax Increment Financing District. The goal is a program that will support a resilient and vibrant downtown community.


  • Jeffrey Temple
    July 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

    As a former long time resident of gardiner, including several years as a reserve police officer, then elected to 3 terms on the gardiner city council (and head of various downtown committees), then elected to terms on the MSAD 11 school board of directors, i have several thoughts i want to share. first, gardiner needs a lasting reputation. for example, augusta is the STATE capitol. Hallowell is the ANTIQUE capitol of Maine. Gardiner is the _________ capitol of Maine. We need to fill in the blank. when I was on the city council I wanted to make Gardiner the SOFTWARE capitol of Maine, as we had several new start up computer software developers in the downtown area. I developed the term…Gardiner…where history and progress meet” and wanted to stress the progress portion of that logo by making gardiner famous for being the software capitol of the state, which would attract new start up companies to the city. So, in my judgement, step one of the path forward is to fill in the blank for what kind of state capitol we want to be. step two is to highlight the history of the city, with perhaps walking tours, garden tours, community events on the common and downtown. step three is to highlight the fact that gardiner is a good and safe and fun place to live. target drug dealers in the city. target school activities to make them more fun and adventurous, so that nearly every event in gardiner resembles a friday night football game, with lights, bands, food and fun. step four is to never give up. people have been trying to make gardiner great since I was on the city council 35 years ago. dont ever stop. Jeff Temple

    • Melissa Lindley
      July 13, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you, Jeff for your thoughtful comments and for your years of service in the City of Gardiner. You’re right on target with one of the main questions we will be asking at the event: “Gardiner is a ______ city.” There will be questions about what is Gardiner’s identity and how do we promote it to others? This event and the process of making the downtown master plan will help us answer that question.

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