Imagine a small yet vibrant downtown that draws in tourists and sustains the year-round community. People stroll down Main Street where window displays offer a glimpse into local foods, arts and crafts, mulling over which restaurant to dine in. For sale or rent signs are an uncommon sight. That was downtown Blue Hill not too many years ago. But the effects of the recession still linger and empty storefronts are a familiar sight. “It happens so quickly. You turn around one day and [ask], ‘Where did everybody go?’” said Sue Walsh, an economic development consultant and former executive director of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Now, picture flowers spilling from the planters on the Mill Stream Bridge, signs pointing to the waterfront, businesses, restaurants and cultural landmarks, stores that stay open on Sundays and through late afternoons. Could that be the downtown Blue Hill of the near future? “I think there’s lots of people taking it in and watching,” said Johanna Barrett, executive director of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. A recent proposal to selectmen to add signs to downtown Blue Hill gained traction, as did “a lot of talk about downtown,” Selectman Vaughn Leach said. (read more at the Weekly Packet)
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