Spring is around the corner!
Read on to see how we have launched into 2022.
Municipal EV Readiness Toolkit Complete
To help Maine municipalities lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), SMPDC partnered with Maine Clean Communities to create the Municipal EV Toolkit.

The online platform includes tools and resources for municipalities to advance vehicle electrification through:

1.     Municipal Fleets
2.     Zoning and Ordinances
3.     Permitting and Inspections
4.     Planning and Leadership
The toolkit includes:
·       EV Readiness self-assessment
·       Resource guides on EV readiness
·       Checklist for municipal EV readiness
SMPDC also joined Maine Clean Communities for a webinar introducing the resource, which you can watch here.
Housing Unit Growth 2010 - 2020
The last decade has represented great change throughout the State of Maine, and especially within our southern Maine communities. The 2020 Decennial Census depicts our region having an increase in approximately 6,600 housing units since the 2010 survey. The three communities with the largest increase are Saco (978), Wells (809), and Biddeford (622). Only three communities had a net loss in housing units: Parsonsfield (-8), Brownfield (-7) and Acton (-1). 
$10,000 Forgivable Loans for Small Businesses
SMPDC has funds available to start or grow a small business.
The program provides up to $10,000 forgivable loans for qualifying low-to-moderate income, small businesses (5 or fewer employees).

Visit our website for eligibility information, and how to apply!
Economic Strategy Plan Underway
In addition to being a Regional Planning Organization, SMPDC is also an Economic Development District (EDD), created by federal law. Each EDD is required to complete an annual plan called the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Projects being considered for EDA funding must be identified in the CEDS.
SMPDC went out to bid and selected consultants, The Versel Group, to do a complete plan rewrite which takes into consideration the significant changes in the economic landscape over the past few years. Versel is collecting demographic, housing, and economic data for our entire region, interviewing key stakeholders and forming goals and recommendations for the 5-year plan. The new plan will help direct SMPDC’s economic development projects, programs, and services in the coming years, and is projected to be finished this summer.
Towns Preparing for Solar Development
Since 2019, the Maine State Legislature has passed several laws encouraging and shaping the development of large-scale solar arrays.

This has introduced the advent of large-scale solar developments. Municipal leaders: get prepared! It takes time to plan and regulate. 
Recommended Webinars
SMPDC continues to accept applications for subsidized energy audits for small businesses and agricultural producers. Watch this presentation by Karina Graeter to learn why energy efficiency is good for business, and how to get started. smpdc.org/energyaudit

We know that every community has varying capacity and experience for dealing with communications and media. This training could give town staff or elected officials more confidence and assurance when dealing with newspaper & TV reporters, or managing direct communications from the Town.
Cooperative Purchasing Webpage Updated!
We recently updated the Cooperative Purchasing webpage, which now shows all the most recent bids and bid results available through SMPDC’s partnership with GPCOG. These include:
  • Salt
  • Road striping, paving
  • Office Supplies
  • and more!

Reach out to Marian Alexandre with any questions about our deals. We are proud of the hundreds of thousands of dollars this program has saved our communities over the years!
Funding for Communities

Grants for surface transportation infrastructure projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. The NOFO is available here. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. EST on April 14, 2022, and selections will be announced no later than August 12, 2022. Examples of recent RAISE funded projects

Senator King’s office is now accepting preliminary Congressional Spending Requests for fiscal year 2023, due March 3/31, although this deadline is subject to change with further federal guidance. King’s office also recommends submitting your request to each congressional office individually, when they are accepting applications. Contact cdsrequests@king.senate.gov for more information. We will share info on how to apply to other congressional offices as it becomes available.

There are several opportunities for funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, set to be available throughout this year.

These grants and more can be found on our new webpage-
SMPDC In the News
Remember to follow us on social media for more frequent news and updates, or reach out to learn more!
Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission | Website