Celebrating our volunteers and municipal workers!
GPCOG celebrates the volunteers and municipal workers who have done so much to help our communities respond to the pandemic and the economic fallout during the past year.  

Please watch and share our short video, which showcases the work of volunteers and municipal staff in Cape Elizabeth, Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Falmouth, Naples, Westbrook and Yarmouth. These are just a few of the many examples of great work in our region. Thank you, all!

Sandra Carder of Gray elected GPCOG President
The GPCOG General Assembly at our 2021 Annual Summit on May 27 elected Sandra Carder of Gray to serve as GPCOG President; Jarrod Maxfield of Windham, First Vice President; and Mary Fernandes of Casco, Second Vice President.
The General Assembly also approved officers of the Executive Committee:
Jerre Bryant, Westbrook City Manager
Sandy Carder, Chair of the Gray Council
Mark Dion, Portland City Council
Mary Fernandes, Casco Select Board
Kate Lewis, South Portland City Council
Carmen Lone, Bridgton Select Board
Jarrod Maxfield, Chair, Windham Town Council
Justin Poirer, Chebeague Island Town Administrator
Matthew Sturgis, Cape Elizabeth Town Manager
Nat Tupper, Yarmouth Town Manager
Sue Witonis, Cumberland County Commissioner
General Assembly approves strategic priorities
General Assembly delegates on May 27 voted unanimously to approve the fiscal year 2022 agency budget of $4.8 million . 

The budget supports GPCOG’s three main strategic priorities: strengthen cities and towns with responsive member services, lead the region toward shared and sustainable prosperity and operate with excellence. 

In addition to the work defined by ongoing grants and contracts, GPCOG will focus on the following priorities: 

  • Maximize the regional impact of federal relief, stimulus and infrastructure resources for transportation, housing, broadband and sustainability. 
  • Continue to deliver quality member services, with a particular focus on rural and small communities. 
  • Encourage and support agency coordination to improve public transportation, with a focus on the Transit Together planning initiative, which will examine opportunities for increased strategic partnerships, coordination and integration within the region's transit system. 
  • Expand housing choices in priority places by working with members.
  • Be a resource and partner on issues of importance to members and the state on climate-friendly transportation, broadband and racial equity. 

Shovel-ready projects frame future opportunities
We surveyed our members and partners about shovel ready projects that need funding. In all, 29 municipalities and partner organizations submitted projects from communities all over our region. Roughly 60 percent of the projects are transportation-related, and the rest are projects for waste and wastewater, energy, marine infrastructure, parks and housing.

We're using the list to connect emerging federal stimulus opportunities (including the American Rescue Plan Act and the still evolving American Jobs Plan) with local and regional investment needs. Our staff is carefully reviewing projects and looking for matching state or federal funding opportunities across the region. 

The list of shovel-ready projects was helpful when PACTS made recommendations for federal funding through Congress's new "earmarks" process, which allows funds to be directed toward specific projects within a community. The projects that PACTs recommended are:

  • Funding for a new Casco Bay Lines ferry
  • Funding for a new regional traffic signal control server
  • Funding for paving of a group of collector roads in the region

As the year goes on, we'll continue to work to bring stimulus opportunities to our region. We’ll identify opportunities to bundle projects together to make them more competitive, and we’ll reach out to communities when we see funding streams that can support local projects. We’ll keep working with our Congressional delegation and the state as new stimulus and recovery opportunities unfold, too.

Host a Resilience Corps Member
Resilience Corps Fellows work at Freeport farm
We're seeking applications for Host Sites for our 2021-2022 AmeriCorps Resilience Corps Members.

Fourteen Corps Members will engage with diverse teams in projects around climate and sustainability, digital equity and access, transit, housing, and land use planning, civic innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Corps adds much-needed capacity to adapt and proactively respond to both short-term and long-term challenges to economic, social, and environmental systems throughout the region. The second cohort of Resilience Corps Members will serve between Nov. 1, 2021 and Oct. 14, 2022.

As a Host Site, your team gets a dedicated boost to capacity in an engaged, capable and talented Resilience Corps Member. We're accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Service Term until Aug.1, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Resilience Corps Program Manager, Julia Breul.

Bridgton and Windham selected for
climate resilience planning projects
Bridgton and Windham are among eight Maine communities selected by the Maine Climate Action Council to participate in pilot projects for local climate resilience planning. 

With support from the Greater Portland Council of Governments, the two towns this summer will participate in a series of workshops that will provide information on climate hazards in the region. Residents and elected leaders will discuss possible impacts and explore potential solutions that will build resilience to climate change.

As a result of this work, each town will have a prioritized list of actions that the state will provide some funding to support. This pilot project will inform a larger state-wide program to support climate planning in municipalities. 
New guidance for member service requests
We've developed a new framework for determining whether and to what extent a member service request will be provided through member dues, other grant funding, fees paid by the member or a combination. The framework is intended to communicate principles to our members as well as guide staff in determining an appropriate balance. 

This is a guide rather than a formula. The aim is to have clear understanding and agreement about the work, what it might cost, how it might be funded before the work starts, and how GPCOG applies its members’ dues and other resources to requests.
Dig deeper into the U.S. Census
The Census has scheduled Data Summits to train people on how they can use the 2020 Census data. There are upcoming sessions in June, July and August that may be of general interest. Sessions are also offered for educational administrators, librarians and emergency management professionals.

Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG)
970 Baxter Boulevard
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: 207-774-9891
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