Joe Carey of the Waldoboro Downtown Revitalization Task Force submitted his group’s report Feb. 11 to the town’s Economic Development Committee. Carey said the task force’s priorities include using new signs to direct drivers downtown, promoting parks and walking trails, and taking advantage of the town’s artists with artwork displays and evening art walks.

The Downtown Revitalization Task Force was formed in November in response to business owners’ concerns about the state of the village.

The task force members were Carey, Caren Clark, Yvette Bouchard, Jeff Hurd, Harry Cabot, Bob Weintraub and Ted Wooster.

The members of the Economic Development Committee that attended the Feb. 11 meeting were Elaine Abel, Jen Merritt, Dana Dow, Town Manager William Post, and Planning and Development Director Patrick Wright.

The task force’s signage campaign includes several signs, a logo and message for the downtown, and a map and directory in the village center. Carey said it could be done soon without a large financial burden. Students as well as professionals would be invited to design the downtown logo. Signs would be located on Routes 1, 32 and 220 to let people know where the downtown is, and what is there. Carey said this would help the businesses and offices that are already successfully operating downtown.

The report from the task force included a map of walking trails. The town owns the picnic area and canoe launch near the Hannaford Supermarket and the town landing on Pine Street. The task force proposed walking loops that encourage people to be in the downtown and have a view of the Medomak River.

Merritt said people could take the trail and listen to a podcast of something like Mark Biscoe’s walking tour. Landmarks could be linked to an audio file with information about the site. Post said people walk down Glidden Street past the Reed Mansion and the Waldo Theatre and may not know about the history of the sites. Col. Isaac Reed is credited with the Maine State Seal.

The walking trail would highlight the downtown’s strengths — a scenic and productive river, historic homes, nice neighborhoods, and brick buildings that are the legacy of an era. The task force said owners of those buildings could create facades facing the river.

The third priority that Carey identified was artists in the village. One asset the town already has is the Tidemark Gallery. Carey said the Gallery at 902 Main St. is a great foundation to work from and already a destination. More artwork could be displayed in storefronts and connected to the Sproul Block Apartments. Abel said a farmers market could fit in, maybe in the covered arcade of the Sproul Block.

“All these things are going to bring more people into town,” Carey said.

The task force report included other ideas — a contest for improving building facades and applying for grants — but Carey identified signs, trails and art in response to comments from the town manager.

“I was the one that challenged people that said we need ideas, we need help,” Post said.

Post commended the task force members and said the report shows what people can do when they put their heads together. Still, he wanted to know what was next, and what the town could do. The Economic Development Committee didn’t take a vote on the task force’s recommendations. Post said he’ll work with Wright on the recommendations, with possible committee action later.

Some immediate action can be taken on most of the task force recommendations, and that was the goal. The report said task force members wanted “simple, practical steps [that] would provide an opportunity to begin right away, see encouraging results, require minimal funding, and bring positive change that would lead to success with longer range goals.”

“People involved with this and the public need to see some steps,” Carey said.

Carey said it is the character of the town for people to look within the community for answers.

“Using what we already have for resources, starting small and growing in a practical way also reflects the character of our community,” the task force report said.

The resources for the task force plan include the Waldoboro Business Association, town employees, business owners, property owners, the Medomak Valley Community Foundation, the Medomak Valley Land Trust and others.