April forum will focus on stimulus
money for local governments
The coronavirus stimulus package that President Joe Biden signed into law last week provides more than $250 million to Maine’s cities and towns. How should local governments spend that money, and how can investments be coordinated to achieve the best results?

GPCOG will convene a forum in April for municipal managers and elected officials to provide information from experts, including staff from the governor’s office and Maine's congressional delegation. Please stay tuned for the date and time.
Marketing campaign aims to rebuild
transit ridership in southern Maine
On Transit Drivers Appreciation Day on March 18, GPCOG and the region's transit providers launched a public education campaign, TransitTogether, aimed at rebuilding ridership in our region.

We thank transit workers and riders for keeping things moving during the pandemic, and the website highlights proven safety measures that transit providers have put in place to protect riders and staff.

Learn more by liking the campaign on Facebook and following us on Instagram. The campaign is funded by CARES ACT money that was allocated to PACTS last summer.

Getting road projects ready for stimulus funding
Thanks to survey responses from our member municipalities and partners, we’ve identified 100 infrastructure projects in our region that are either "shovel-ready" or "shovel-worthy." Shovel-ready projects are all set to build and just need funding. Worthy projects aren’t fully designed, engineered or permitted yet, but they’re in the development process as priorities for their communities. 

Why did GPCOG make this list? Given the recent economic stimulus legislation, both federal and state governments are likely to make new infrastructure project funding available. The communities with projects ready to build are the ones that have the best chance to attract more economic recovery and resilience funding. We want our region to be ready!

GPCOG will continue to work with our members and partners to match new federal and state funding opportunities with projects in our region in the months ahead.
Learn how to talk your kids about race & racism
You're invited to join us for our webinar, Having Uncomfortable Conversations with Your Kids: Talking about Race and Racism. On Wed. March 24 at 6:00 PM, panelists Tracie Jae, Mercedes Samudio and Sarah MacLaughlin will share expertise on starting conversations about race, diversity and antiracism at an early age. GPCOG's Tori Pelletier moderates.

This panel is part of Momentum: A Maine Racial & Social Equity Series, a collaboration of the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Portland, Portland Public Library, Maine Historical Society and GPCOG.

GPCOG launches statewide marketing campaign
to promote safe outdoor dining options
The pandemic's impact on our local restaurants has been devastating. Since the fall, GPCOG has worked with the City of Portland, City of Westbrook and other partners to promote safe, outdoor dining options. With new funding from the Maine Office of Tourism, we're taking the Maine Outdoor Dine campaign statewide. 

The campaign website lists over 100 participating businesses from around the state, with more being added every week. Watch City of Westbrook Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson talk about the campaign in this WGME news story. 

Please help our local restaurants by spreading the word. Share the campaign video and follow the campaign on Instagram and Facebook.  
New website features stories about
building resilient communities
GPCOG has launched a new website, Stories of Resilience, which offers a glimpse into the projects served by Resilience Corps fellows and how they're helping to build more resilient communities in the Greater Portland region. 

Read stories by Catherine Flaherty (Small Business Support Fellow), Maria Guerra (Environmental Health Fellow) and Madeline Tripp (Environmental Resilience Fellow) on exploring the resilience of the service industry, monitoring air quality in Maine and spending a service day with Portland Trails at Fore River Sanctuary. 

Rent relief is now available
MaineHousing has re-opened the state rent relief program. Tenants and landlords can learn more about program rules and submit an application here

Please help us spread the word! Vulnerable renters—and landlords shouldering large past due rent balances—will not be able to get the relief they need if they are unaware of the existence of the program. 

GPCOG collaborates with Freeport
on public information campaign
GPCOG designed a website, Let's Connect Freeport, and implemented a social media campaign for the Town of Freeport in order to inform voters of a proposal to add bike-pedestrian paths to two I-295 overpasses in town. This proposal is part of the Connect Freeport vision for a network of connected, safe and multipurpose paths to support active and healthy living in Freeport.

On March 9, Freeport voters approved bond funding for this project. Construction of the bike-pedestrian paths is slated for Fall 2021.

DEP seeks applicants for waste diversion grants
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting grant proposals to support the development, implementation or improvement of initiatives to increase the diversion of solid waste from disposal. The DEP will award grants of up to $40,000 ($125,000), and all municipalities, regional associations, counties and Maine businesses can apply.

Applications are due at 4:00 p.m. on April 19, 2021. For more information and to view the RFP, please visit this website.
Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG)
970 Baxter Boulevard
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: 207-774-9891
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