By: Jennifer Feals
KENNEBUNK — The town is exploring a sister city relationship with the Passamaquoddy tribe, which could provide unique development and cultural opportunities.
The tribe, of Indian Township, is involved in the development of a portion of the former William Arthur property, on Independence Drive, as a business developer.
The town is currently working to develop the property, which would become known as Eco Park, and is in talk with a number of businesses including a film studio, organic brewery, LED distributor and manufacturer, and more.
Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said the potential partnership with the Passamaquoddy tribe came out of discussions around creating the Eco Park.
“About a year ago we started talking with them to see if they had any interest in any of the businesses, and they did,” Tibbetts said. “That conversation between the businesses and the tribe continued on separate from the town and matured to a point where they said we want to do something.”
Tibbetts said the relationship has “nothing to do with any casinos of any kind.”
“It’s really about how we’re potentially involved with them on developing some businesses here within Kennebunk,” he said.
Tibbetts said the relationship could be used in areas of business and trade, youth and education and community development.
“Culturally I think it’s a good thing. They have some really innovative things that they are doing with water and air rights and solar energy and stuff they are exploring, and those things could be advantageous to us. They have different funding sources,” Tibbetts said. “I think it’s worth exploring. It has the potential for us to develop a relationship that could be mutually beneficial.”