Monthly Newsletter
October 2018
Municipal / Regional Planning
New Roberts Rules of Order Workshop

SMPDC has started a new workshop separate from the Boardsmanship program! The workshop focuses on just Roberts Rules and how to conduct a meeting. It is a new program so we are still working the kinks out but would be willing to assist with making sure the Boards are operating in an appropriate manner. The towns of Alfred and Waterboro held a joint workshop for all boards, Select Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. We would be happy to discuss this with you or to put on a regional or Sub regional program.

Impending Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

Changes are coming to how federally-backed flood insurance policies are underwritten and issued. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently in the process of restructuring flood insurance rates through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in an effort to ensure policy rates are fair, clear, more accurately reflect risk, and use current technology and data. According to the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), policy rates will be determined by using replacement cost value, commercial catastrophe models and NFIP mapping data, intuitive rating variables, and easily collected data. Formally called the Risk Rating and Policy Forms Redesign Initiative, the new rating system will reflect a more holistic view of risk, not just in or out of the regulatory floodplain, and reflect different types of flood risk (e.g., fluvial, pluvial, storm surge). FEMA will also be increasing the number of policy forms it uses for flood insurance from three to at least nine. These changes will be introduced gradually, starting with coastal Southeastern states in 2020 and rolling out to other states later on.
The NFIP has long-been a thorn in the side of Congress, as it has repeatedly been granted short-term extensions in the absence of Congress passing a comprehensive overhaul of the financially struggling, indebted program. The NFIP is set to expire, yet again, and Congress must reauthorize the program by 11:59 pm on Friday, November 30 th . Sweeping reforms are necessary to help pull the program out of debt and ensure its continued operation in a financially stable and sustainable manner. To-date, Congress has remained deadlocked on advancing a number of bills to reform the program, and it is likely that another short-term extension will be granted. Stay tuned for updates to this important program. 
Town of Kittery and SMPDC Awarded Grant to Study Local and Regional Effects of Growth at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

As many folks in southern York County know, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has experienced rapid growth in employment over the past five years, adding over 1300 jobs during that time period. That trend, while possibly slowing, is expected to continue to some degree. This is obviously a tremendous benefit to the region as far as direct employment and multiplier effects of jobs and income leading to prosperous region.

However with that job growth (as well as numerous capital investment projects taking place at PNSY) has come a significant increase in traffic, need for housing and other local and regional impacts.

The workforce entering PNSY must come through state roads and local Kittery roads not fully designed to bear that kind of traffic. It also creates burdens on employees with long commute times. As the employees of PNSY come from all around the region, the issues are regional in nature as well. The chart below highlights the broad geographic representation of PNSY employees:
Within the past month the Town of Kittery, partnering with SMPDC, received a $220,000 Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) grant from the Dept. of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment to examine and make recommendations regarding the impacts of traffic and other related issues resulting from the growth at the Shipyard. PNSY staff has been very engaged and helpful as we have structured a work plan and begin the study process. It is the intent of everyone that the recommendations which arise from the study be implementable. To that end we have diverse group of towns from the region, Maine and New Hampshire agencies and others participating as part of policy and working groups. We want to make it clear we are looking to take some clear action on infrastructure related issues.

Within the past week, Kittery and SMPDC awarded Stantec out of Boston to be the lead consultant on the project. We will continue to keep the region informed though websites, newsletters and other means as work progresses. The work is projected to take about a little over a year.
TIM Training

SMPDC organized and facilitated a Traffic Incident Management Table Top Exercise which took place on Friday, October 12 th . The training exercise brought together over 40 people from various State and local departments, and focused on a long-term complete closure of the I-95 bridge between Maine and New Hampshire. Participants were provided a timeline with various events, and worked together in teams to develop ideas on how the bridge closure would be handled on many levels.
SMPDC staff will be developing an After Action Report for the event in the next few weeks. Contact Tom Reinauer for more information.

Economic Development
Over 100 grants and $50 million in brownfield grant funding is expected to be awarded in this next round of EPA's storied and successful real estate redevelopment program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new Request for Proposals and Application Guideline to officially open the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant competition. Grants offered by the EPA Brownfields Program may be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants and petroleum, or suspected to be.
In last year's brownfield grant competition, EPA awarded $54.3 Million in funding to assess and cleanup 144 communities nationwide. This year's competition is the first to come following the passage of the BUILD Act in the omnibus bill and it contains numerous important changes.
Opportunities in this cycle of brownfield grant funding are separated into three categories:
(1) Multipurpose Grants  – each proposal is funded up to $800,000 over five years. EPA anticipates selecting 10 proposals.
(2) Assessment Grant s – (a) Community-wide and (b) Site-specific proposals are each funded up to $200,000 over three years; and (c) Assessment Coalition proposals are funded up to $600,000 over three years. EPA anticipates selecting 114 proposals.
(3) Cleanup Grant s – each proposal funded up to $500,000 over three years. EPA anticipates selecting 40 proposals.
EPA will host one outreach webinar on  December 11, 2018 at 2pm (ET) . The purpose of the webinar is to assist applicants with understanding the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines. Participants can join  at this link  and/or dial into the audio conference line at 1-866-299-3188/ access code: 202-566-1817.
 In addition, EPA will host a FY’19 Brownfields Grant Guidelines Information Session in Maine.
The date and location for the Information Session is:

DATE: Thursday, December 13, 2018
TIME: 8:30am – 1:00pm
LOCATION:        Portland City Hall
                            389 Congress Street
                            Portland, ME 04101

The submission deadline for applications is: January 31, 2019
Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission |