Lisbon’s economic and community development director is resigning after six years with the town.

Tracey Steuber is headed to the city of Gardiner to serve as its new planning and economic development director. Her last day in Lisbon is July 26; she starts in Gardiner on Aug. 5.

While Steuber came to Lisbon after a short stint in the private sector, she previously had worked for five years in the city of Auburn’s economic and community development office.

Steuber said Wednesday she is excited about the move, which will allow for professional growth.

“It’s a good opportunity to get back to working for a city form of government,” she said. “Gardiner has a lot going for itself, and I’m very excited to bring the experience I’ve had in Lisbon to the city of Gardiner.”

During her six years in Lisbon, Steuber has helped take the organization of the Moxie Festival off the plate of the Town Office staff, planning for the annual festival with the help of volunteers. She’s helped spearhead the design of a new website and made promotional flyers and business brochures.

In addition, during the past three years, Steuber helped the town receive nearly $1 million in grant funds.

Town Manager Diane Barnes said Steuber was instrumental in helping revitalize the Lisbon Falls and Lisbon Village downtowns by obtaining infrastructure grants through the state. The first, for the Lisbon Falls area, totaled $320,000; and she recently won $300,000 for Lisbon Village, along with a $150,000 facade grant.

Steuber also helped the town pull in a $200,000 brownfield grant through the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps towns fund assessments of potential contamination sites.

The town has seen a lot of growth, Steuber said. The downtown in Lisbon Falls has nearly no vacancies, and officials hope to replicate this growth in Lisbon Village.

The former mill town, like many in Maine, has struggled to reinvent itself as the mills closed.

“When I came here, people said we need a restaurant,” Steuber said. “Lisbon is a pass-through community. No one stops.

“And I honestly no longer feel that is the case,” she added. “People are stopping, eating here, eating at Frank’s or Flux and shopping at Eastcraeft,” which are all located on Main Street.

Steuber said the town’s revolving loan fund is helping draw businesses that need gap funding to make their enterprise possible.

It takes people willing to take a chance to bring a business to Lisbon, “but I also feel that giving them to tools at hand to be able to achieve those goals,” is key, she said. “Lisbon is a community that wants businesses and welcomes new businesses.”

Steuber thinks she is leaving the town in a position for more good things to come.

Barnes agreed. The town hopes to finish the sidewalks and Graziano Square park in Lisbon Village by the end of summer, which it hopes will spur some additional economic development.

Gardiner City Manager Christine Landes said in a July 2 announcement that Steuber “brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. …” She said the city is fortunate to have Steuber join its management team “and lead her department to its full potential.”

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