May and June 2019
Your monthly news & updates
General SMPDC News & Updates
SMPDC Annual Meeting

Thank you to all the people who attended our annual meeting on June 5th! It was a wonderful event and we enjoy bringing organizations and communities together. You can view the presentation made by our guest speakers Carolann Ouellette, Director of Maine's Office of Outdoor Recreation and David Koorits, Founder of Good-to-Go here or on our website homepage under "documents and reports ". SMPDC considers outdoor recreation and the associated businesses to be a crucial piece of a regional economic development strategy. We hope to have some updates on other efforts soon.
Copy Paper Bid

SMPDC’s Copy Paper bid was awarded to WB Mason again this year. Due to a price increase from their distributor, our prices also increased slightly. Although, even with the increase, it's a great discount per case. To find out the prices of paper on this new contract, please contact Marian at [email protected] or (207) 571-7065 or visit our Cooperative Purchasing page on our website
Regional & Rural Planning
New Workshop Program

SMPDC & Attorney Natalie Burns of Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry are putting together a new workshop program!

We have not set a date or a location yet (it will most likely be held in October) so keep your eyes open!  Subjects include:

  • Recent updates on Medical and Adult Use Marijuana regulations
  • Recent Court Cases and how they may affect your decision making process
  • Running an effective Planning Board process i.e. Roberts Rules of Order and Findings of Fact
  • When a decision is final and able to be appealed
Upcoming Planning Work

With Town Meetings occurring all over the region, we wanted to say thank you to those communities that have added additional work to SMPDC for the upcoming year. This is the work that keeps SMPDC a vibrant Regional Planning Organization which has been recognized state wide! If we miss someone we apologize but here is the additional work we will be undertaking this year as we know it:

  • Hollis-Rewrite of the towns subdivision regulations
  • Fryeburg-Develop a new zoning scheme based on the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2015
  • Berwick-Initial year of a New Comprehensive Plan
  • Eliot-Providing Planning staff support for the upcoming year
State Sets the Groundwork for Climate Action in Maine by Passing Climate Council Bill

The 129 th Maine Legislature recently passed a bill with bipartisan support to establish a Maine Climate Council, enabling and supporting communities to take action on climate issues. LD1679 “ An Act to Establish the Maine Climate Change Council to Assist Maine to Mitigate, Prepare for and Adapt to Climate Change” establishes a council comprised of members representing a variety of state agencies, environmental non-profits, various industries, and municipal government and tasks that council with developing an action plan and timetable to meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, promote jobs and economic benefits for Mainers in a lower carbon economy, and support climate resiliency of Maine communities. The bill also establishes the creation of council working groups, including a Coastal and Marine Working Group and a Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group.
This exciting bipartisan legislation is a crucial step for fostering sound, science-based climate action and assisting southern Maine communities with taking tangible steps to better understand local climate vulnerabilities and implement strategies that protect and enhance the resilience of the region. SMPDC is thrilled to support and participate in the future work of the Council and its working groups to assist our communities with preparing for climate change.

Medical Marijuana Laws

SMPDC has been busy interpreting the new Medical Marijuana laws from Augusta. In response to concerns from towns we have worked on several projects analyzing the potential locations where marijuana establishments could be legally located. Our staff have the GIS mapping expertise to show you which parcels in your town may be restricted from having such developments and can be used for decision making. Since Maine is a strong home rule state, many of the setbacks and distance requirements for these establishments can be set municipally if they are a desired business in the community.

Economic Development
Brownfields Supplement RLF Grant

The EPA has awarded the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission a Brownfields Supplemental Revolving Loan Fund grant. The $373,170 SMPDC received in Supplemental RLF funds will make the total amount of Brownfields RLF funds received by SMPDC to be $3,793,170. These funds will be used to continue to provide a revolving loan fund that can finance the remediation of environmental contamination. For profit entities are eligible for loan funds while municipalities and non-profit organizations are eligible for either loans or grants. These funds are available for sites in the SMPDC region. If there is a project in your community that you would like to be evaluated and possibly considered for the Brownfields RLF program please contact either Chuck Morgan or Paul Schumacher.

New Road Surface Management Software

SMPDC is pleased to now offer Road Surface Management Software in order to prioritize and evaluate local roadway conditions. Working with the MaineDOT Local Roads Program, SMPDC now has software capable of providing towns with a road maintenance inventory and maintenance plan. MaineDOT has developed this inexpensive and easy-to-use software which can provide the basis or background to making decisions on how, what, how much and where repairs will be done across a community. Many municipalities across Maine and other states have used this software to develop and support a road budget. In many cases, the software has been used to justify some relatively large road bonds. If you are interested in learning more about the Road Surface Management Software or Program, please contact Eric Sanderson at our office by either calling (207) 571-7065 or emailing [email protected].