With warmer weather, vaccine rollout, and new projects on the horizon, SMPDC is gladly welcoming the change of season and the light at the end of a difficult winter. We've been hard at work, and this newsletter has many exciting project milestones and opportunities for towns.

As always, we'd love to hear from you and talk about how you can get involved!
Outdoor Recreation as Economic Stimulus
SMPDC is partnering with Fryeburg on an action item determined in their EPA “Recreation Economy for Rural Communities” planning process, to inventory and map the many outdoor recreation assets available in the town.
Outdoor recreation has shined as an important economic stimulus statewide, and SMPDC plans to focus more economic recovery efforts on leveraging the outdoor recreation opportunities in our region.
Join our Municipal Climate Planning Webinar
Join SMPDC as we hear from experts in the Governor's Office of Policy, Innovation, and the Future about the State's recently released climate action plan (CAP) 'Maine Won't Wait'.

This event is designed for SMPDC municipal staff, elected officials, and board and committee members interested in learning more about the CAP and what it means for southern Maine communities.

March 29, 2 to 3pm

RFP OPEN: Southern Maine Solar Collaborative
SMPDC is seeking proposals from solar developers for the Southern Maine Solar Collaborative.

Together, the six municipalities anticipate offsetting 70% of total municipal electricity costs and 1,350 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Deadline for applications is April 21st. 
In the News

Abbie Sherwin and Karina Graeter urge regional coordination on climate action in their op-ed, featured in the Portland Press Herald.

SMPDC Sustainability Program: Regional Assessment Released
The Regional Sustainability and Resilience Program released its regional sustainability and coastal resilience assessment “Getting There from Here: A Baseline for Advancing Climate Action in Southern Maine”. 
Planners worked with municipalities to evaluate the many sustainability and resilience efforts and initiatives, previously completed or in progress, in the 6 member towns.

The findings of the study provide a picture of what towns have done successfully, what needs work, and best practices for other towns looking to follow in their footsteps.

The results will also guide the work of the program as it goes into its second year.
SMPDC Can Help with Development Review
The high demand for development can sometimes be too much for town or city staff to keep up. SMPDC is currently supporting planning board development review in 8+ towns; Let us know if you need support!
40 Million in COVID Relief: the Breakdown

The state grant programs represent the largest funding initiative of businesses and non-profits in SMPDC history, and we are proud of the grants’ impacts throughout the region.

The programs aided over 700 businesses, with 40.3 million in grants disbursed.
Town Funding Opportunities:
Reach out if you are interested!

Awards grants of up to a $1,000,000 to eligible infrastructure projects, up to a $350,000 maximum award for all other types of eligible projects.
  • Letters of Interest: Due March 26, 2021, by 5pm (Not required)
  • Online Application Portal active: April 15, 2021
  • Applications Due : May 14, 2021, by 5pm
  • Announcement of 2021 Awards: By August 31, 2021

For towns with a population of 4,000 of less. The application deadline is March 31, 2021. Accepted projects must be complete by June 1, 2021.

DEP expects to award 2 to 4 NPS grants with individual awards ranging from approximately $10,000 to $50,000. Applications due April 28th, 2021.
Thanks for your continued support and partnership. Let us know how we can support you as we slowly transition to a new normal through this year.

Be well and Happy Spring!
Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission | Website