The Damariscotta Area Chamber of Commerce and Information Office will contract with Paul Garber Residential Builders of Newcastle to renovate and extend the small Damariscotta Area Information Office building.
Construction is expected to begin soon to renovate and expand the building on Main Street near the intersection with Bristol Road, and will be completed next year, outgoing chamber board chairman John Roberts said during of the organization’s annual meeting and awards ceremony at the Bradley Inn in New Harbor on Wednesday, September 14.
“It’s so exciting to be about to have the chamber for the first time in life,” Roberts said.
The plan is to update and expand the 17-by-17-foot 1935 building to make it the chamber’s first permanent headquarters and an employment resource center for the community. The chamber has yet to raise $68,000 of its $400,000 goal for the project.
Over 100 people attended the Caribbean-themed event and munched on oysters from Pemaquid Oyster Company and cuisine from The Bradley Inn while Nat Hussey was entertained with island music and classic Jimmy Buffett tunes .
Roberts spoke about the accomplishments of executive director Lisa Hagen, rolling out a long roll of white paper to a roar of laughter from the crowd.
“His efforts have helped make our Chamber a vibrant and welcoming organization with a strong financial position on the path to a bright future,” Roberts said.
He then presented the Chairman’s Award to Rick and Lisa Hagen.
Lincoln County Television showed pre-recorded interviews with each of the winners.
Mark Hagar, founder of Hagar Enterprises Inc., received the Individual Community Service Award for his work in local government and volunteerism.
“I chose community service because when I was raising my kids, I taught them how important it was to be involved in your community and to volunteer,” Hagar said in the pre-recorded interview. “My feeling was if I was going to teach my family to do this, then I had to step up.”
Hagar has served as Fishery Officer for Newcastle and Nobleboro, on the Great Salt Bay Health District Board, the Damariscotta Select Board, the City’s Comprehensive Plan Committee in 1992, the charter in 1994 and the building of the Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District. Committee.
The Central Lincoln County YMCA received the organization’s community service award. CEO Casey Clark Kelley agreed on behalf of the Damariscotta-based organization. During a taped interview with Hagen, Clark Kelley mentioned the Y’s community navigator and FARMS programs and partnerships with LincolnHealth and local food banks as examples of YMCA efforts that build community.
Clyde Pendleton, chairman of the Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission, accepted the Business Enhancement Award on behalf of the busy parks department for his work building the $900,000 Pemaquid beach pavilion and boardwalk completed in 2020.
Dustin “Dusty” Hancock, owner of Damariscotta’s Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, received the Businessman of the Year award. He said in a pre-recorded interview with Roberts that he has helped more than a thousand families over the years and got to know the individuals in the community.
“I grew up here, I knew the characters. I knew Bob always squeezed your hand a little too tight or that Phyllis always had Jolly Ranchers in her pocket,” Hancock said. “It’s those personal connections that make bonding with families easier and deeper.”
Heather Burt, General Manager of Rising Tide Co-op, Heather D’Ippolito, Director of Community Engagement and Development at Lincoln Academy, Seth Hagar, Owner of Hagar Enterprises Inc., Brynne Whitney, Branch Manager for Bangor Savings Bank and Rob Wilkes, managing director of Colby & Gale, were all installed as new members of the chamber’s board of directors. Roberts said the board was now made up of full members.
Larry Sidelinger, of LCTV, was named president, Jane Oliver-Gravel, of the Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle, vice-president, Terri Herald, of Coastal Car Wash and Detail Center, secretary, and Wayne Farrin, of Farrin Properties, as treasurer.
At the end of the evening, Hagen paid tribute to Roberts as the meeting was his last as speaker of the chamber and on the board, as he served the maximum of two three-year terms.
“We are where we are because of John,” Hagen said of Roberts’ work to make the renovation of the Damariscotta Area Information Office headquarters a reality.