New interactive map shows
public transit routes to vaccination sites
A new interactive map shows you how to access vaccination sites with public transit in Cumberland and York counties. GPCOG created this map to support a regional education campaign in collaboration with the region's transit providers, which are helping people travel safely where they need to go. Please share this map with your networks!

Maine also offers free rides to and from vaccination appointments. Learn more and schedule a ride.
Cooperative purchasing program saves
towns and schools nearly $300,000
Communities and participating school districts are projected to save $295,000 in transportation fuels, paving and road striping services this year because of the GPCOG Cooperative Purchasing Program.

Members of the program include Bridgton, Casco, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth and Pownal. SMPDC members Berwick and OOB also participated, as did MSAD 15 (Gray-New Gloucester schools) and MSAD 61 (Lakes Region schools).
GPCOG offers training for
emerging community leaders
To support emerging community leaders, we’re hosting a webinar on Wed., April 28, at 6 p.m. for people who are considering running for local government. Please help get us the word out in your community. We want to connect with people who have the potential to serve as elected leaders from under-represented groups.
Panelists include Westbrook Mayor Mike Foley, Lewiston City Councilor Safiya Khalid, South Portland City Councilor Deqa Dhalac, Portland City Council members Andrew Zarro and April Fournier, and Cumberland Town Councilor Allison Foster

CDBG loan and grant funds
for small businesses double
GPCOG is increasing the Community Development Block Grant amounts awarded to small businesses in Cumberland County. The increased amounts will help small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
GPCOG is increasing the Jobs Creation/Retention Program grant amount from $2,500 per job to $5,000 per job. The program provides funding for small businesses that will be creating new jobs or retaining existing positions. Eligible businesses must have between two to 25 employees.  
We’re also increasing the Microenterprise Program grant amount from $5,000 to $10,000 per business.  This program helps small business owners with up to 5 employees maintain operations.
GPCOG staff is ready to guide applicants through the process.

Meet our new planners!
We’re excited to welcome two veteran planners, Vanessa L. Farr and Colin Burch, to the GPCOG team!
As a Senior Regional Transportation Planner, Colin will be involved in a range of transit and transportation planning efforts. He will conduct a rapid transit alternatives analysis, as well as improve the efficiency of the transit network through the deployment of automated passenger counters and systems analysis. Colin comes from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, where he served as the Intercity Passenger Rail Program Manager.
Many of you may already know Vanessa, Yarmouth’s Planning Director between 2009 and 2015. She is also the co-founder of Build Maine. As a Senior Planner at GPCOG, Vanessa will work with member cities and towns on a wide range of land use planning, comprehensive planning, and ordinance review and development issues.
Momentum Series continues with webinar
on addressing AAPI discrimination
Please join us this Wed., April 21, at 5:30 p.m. for our latest webinar as part of the Momentum Series.
This conversation will focus on addressing discrimination and racism towards Maine’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities. Panelists are Marpheen Chann (Development, Communications & Education Associate, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine), Tae Chong (Tae Chong Consulting Portland City Councilor, District 3), Phuc Tran (Author, Educator & Tattoo Artist), and Grace Valenzuela (Director, Portland Public Schools’ Multilingual & Multicultural Center).
In preparation for the webinar, please check out the resource list curated by the Portland Public Library to learn more about the AAPI experience in Maine.
The Momentum Series is a partnership between GPCOG, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Maine Historical Society, United Way of Greater Portland, and Portland Public Library.

MaineHousing offers relief to tenants
MaineHousing has re-opened the state rent relief program. Please help spread the word! Vulnerable renters — and landlords shouldering large past due rent balances — will not get the relief they need if they are unaware that the program exists.
Tenants and landlords can learn more about program rules and submit an application here.
Transportation committees restructure
to be more efficient and inclusive
PACTS has restructured its committees to reduce the number of meetings, bring a broader range of voices to the table and work holistically to plan and fund all modes of transportation.
The Transit Committee, Planning Committee and Technical Committee were consolidated into the new Regional Transportation Advisory Committee. Additionally, the Policy Committee and the Executive Committee have new names: they’re now the Policy Board and Executive Board, respectively.
Webinar focuses on habitat protection
The Casco Bay Estuary Partnership will host a free virtual workshop about how cities and towns can make scientifically-informed choices about where to encourage development and where to focus conservation efforts.

Staff from the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will outline conservation strategies such as comprehensive and open space planning, land use ordinance tools, wetland and shoreland zoning tools, and financing.
The workshop begins on Thurs., May 6, at 3 p.m. 

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