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JUNE 2023 NEWSLETTER

Dear all,


We hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and that the (rainy) summer weather is finding you well. Please see below for our monthly newsletter.


General Assembly Announcement

MCOG will hold its annual General Assembly meeting on Thursday, June 29th at 11:00 at the Rockland City Hall. A zoom option will be available, but attendance is encouraged. Lunch will be available. Each community in MCOG is entitled to have 2 representatives attend the General Assembly (member communities from Waldo County and Lincoln County, all Knox and Sagadahoc communities, Brunswick and Harpswell). At least one member shall be an elected or appointed official. If your community is a new member or there is a change in your appointed representative, please contact Mathew Eddy at meddy@midcoastcog.com with a municipal representative update, including your email address. Further details about the meeting will be forthcoming in the middle of June.

Broadband Fellow Position (paid with benefits)

Midcoast Council of Governments has been selected as an American Connection Corps host site and is looking for a year-long, Broadband Fellow, who will support efforts to expand Broadband in Waldo County. This is a paid position with benefits open to all experience levels from new graduates to retirees. The American Connection Corps is the nation’s premier AmeriCorps service experience, advancing economic prosperity in rural and emerging communities. For more information, email Adi Philson aphilson@midcoastcog.com or, apply here.

LD 2003 WORKSHOP

We are approaching the implementation date of LD 2003. For those unaware, municipalities will be required under State law to permit additional dwelling units and accessory dwelling units in areas that permit single-family dwellings as of July 1, 2023. We know that many of you have been working hard to prepare your communities to reach this deadline. There are three important pieces of information we want to share with you:

1. On June 5, 2023 starting at 5:00pm, MCOG and LCRPC will be holding another workshop. This workshop will be held via Zoom. This workshop will have guest speakers Ben Averill and Hilary Gove from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to provide their updates on grants, rulemaking, and provide your communities a chance to ask important questions. Please provide an email to Max Johnstone (mjohnstone@midcoastcog.com) to RSVP to the event so we can be sure to have enough space and provide you a Zoom link when it is available.

2. The State Legislature is currently considering LD 1706. This legislation would grant municipalities in Maine a brief extension so there is more time to put the rules of LD 2003 in place. It has gone through committee, and seems to be gaining traction. If the legislation passes, a municipality that approves changes through a Town Council will be given a 6-month delay (LD 2003 goes into effect on January 1, 2024); whereas a community that requires a Town Meeting would be given a 12-month delay (LD 2003 goes into effect on July 1, 2024).

3. The Maine Municipal Association strongly advises communities to keep track of all expenses associated with implementing LD 2003 in your local ordinances, and to contact your local representatives to inform them of any time constraints you may be facing in your community.

Just a reminder that we are available to assist communities with implementing LD 2003 into their local land use ordinance. Contact Max Johnstone at mjohnstone@midcoastcog.com or call 207-209-4129 with any questions.

The following link will be available for those intending to attend via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83130675914?pwd=VDRFdHd5eUJ0bFJXb3NyT2JVaGhuQT09

Economic Development News

The Steering Committee for the Midcoast Economic Development Committee (MCEDC) met for the first time on May 17th. MCEDC is responsible for implementation of the economic development strategies for MCOG, in particular those outlined under Goal 2, the Hub of Excellence: Expand the MCOG region’s economic diversity by relaunching an economic development program focusing on embracing its place as a Hub of Excellence within the state of Maine’s economic development strategy (https://www.midcoastcog.com/). In particular, the role of the committee is to complete the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), including identifying community infrastructure projects that may be eligible for federal funding. The Steering Committee will be naming a full committee in the next month while planning its first full meeting of MCEDC in the coming months. Stay tuned for announcements.

MCOG has received 50+ New Business Recovery Grant applications, which are due by June 1. The Hub team is evaluating applications, and eligible applicants will be notified of award decisions in mid-June.

The second application cycle for FAME’s Thrive Maine forgivable loan program began on May 23, and the application portal will close at 4:30 pm on June 23. For more information and to apply, please visit www.famemaine/thrive


Expanded Data Resources

MCOG has recently gained access to the dataset StreetLight through the Maine DOT. This dataset utilizes navigational-GPS and Location Based Services to track mobility and transportation. The outcome is a massive dataset that provides insight on travel statistics. This resource will be invaluable for our region as we begin studies of transportation and mobility. MCOG is also partnering with the Center for Economic and Business Research at the University of Southern Maine to obtain economic and demographic data reports at the town, zip code, and county levels. These resources will assist our GIS and data specialist, Charlotte Nutt, as she continues to build Story Maps on pressing issues such as housing and transportation. If there are significant data requests or interests in a community, please reach out to Charlotte at cnutt@midcoastcog.com.





MCOG Sustainability Planner Meets with Governor Mills!

Meg Rassmussen, MCOG Sustainability Planner, met with Governor Mills on Friday in St. George. The theme of the meeting was to show preliminary survey data acquired using innovative new technology to help address vulnerable roadways. MCOG assisted the Town of St. George in getting funding for the project through the Community Resilience Partnership. MCOG is also providing community engagement support for this project that will help visualize solutions to flooding and sea level rise.





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