We have lots of updates and resources to share - read on!

Long-time Executive Director Announces Retirement

After 27 years at SMPDC, executive director Paul Schumacher will begin his retirement this summer. Our organization has grown immensely throughout Paul’s tenure, expanding to include affordable housing, broadband expansion, transportation improvements, and sustainability and resilience. Under Paul’s leadership, SMPDC’s Brownfields revolving loan program has grown from a $200,000 grant in 2005 to receiving over $15 million in funds, which have been invested in underutilized and hazardous sites across the region. His dedication and creativity have had a profound impact on our organization.

Our search for the right candidate is underway. Interested applicants should visit our website for more information.

Save the Date!

We will be celebrating Paul's tenure at our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 26, location TBD. Join us in thanking Paul for his years of hard work and congratulating him on his upcoming retirement!

Coastal Resilience Convening Co-Hosted with York County Emergency Management Agency

Our recent Coastal Resilience Convening, co-hosted with York County Emergency Management Agency, drew 45 town leaders, planners, and practitioners from coastal York County.

Presenters included Heather Dumais, Maine Emergency Management Agency, Chris Holmes from the State of New York, and Richard Verville, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Topics of discussion included public assistance, mitigation programs, and funding available to coastal Maine communities, especially in light of the recent storms. Participants asked which funding buckets are suitable for shovel-ready projects, which projects were eligible for funding, and would regional funding applications make better use of the towns’ capacity and available funds. The meeting resulted in a better understanding of the processes behind these programs and a renewed energy behind collaborative projects in coastal York County.

Click here to learn more about SMPDC's coastal resilience efforts!

New Resource Available: Cultivating Maine's Agricultural Future

The Second Edition of Cultivating Maine’s Agricultural Future: A Policy and Planning Guide for Towns, presented by Maine Farmland Trust, is now available for your reference and use.

An update to the original 2011 publication, this guide includes information about the community benefits of farms and farmland, challenges in Maine agriculture, resources on policy tools and planning strategies, and more. Selected sections can be downloaded as standalone documents, and the guide can also be downloaded in full.

To download the guide and for more information, click the buttons below.

View the Full Guide
Visit the Website

$3.2M Awarded for Broadband Expansion in Hiram, Baldwin

The Maine Connectivity Authority has awarded Sebago Fiber $3.2 million to expand broadband internet in the town of Sebago and parts of surrounding towns, including Hiram and Baldwin. This investment will bring high-quality internet to 1,690 homes and businesses, including 492 with slow and unreliable internet service or that currently lack internet access. 

Residents and business owners who wish to sign up for the newly available service or find more information can click the button below to visit Sebago Fiber's website.

Click here for more info & to sign up for service!

KACTS Public Involvement Plan: Open for Public Comment thru May 19

The Kittery Area Comprehensive Transportation System (KACTS) draft 2024 Public Involvement Plan is open for public comment now through May 19. The Plan outlines strategies, approaches, and performance measures to advance meaningful public involvement in KACTS’ regional transportation planning efforts.

View the Draft Plan

Comments on the draft plan can be submitted via email to Stephanie Carver, SMPDC Transportation Director, at scarver@smpdc.org.

For more information on SMPDC's transportation planning efforts, visit smpdc.org/kacts.

Funding Opportunities

  • FY2025 Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS): Senator Collins and Senator King’s FY25 CDS forms are now available online. Senator Pingree’s form will be posted here once available. Projects are encouraged to submit requests as soon as possible. 

  • US Small Business Administration Loans for Jan. 9-13 Storms: Low-interest disaster loans are available to small businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding Jan. 9-13. York and Cumberland counties are eligible for both Physical Property and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Oxford county is eligible only for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Physical property application deadline May 20, 2024. Economic injury application deadline Dec. 23, 2024.

  • Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap: This Environmental Protection Agency program offers free technical assistance to communities struggling with failing septic systems, overboard discharges, or inadequate wastewater infrastructure. Communities will be selected on a rolling basis; there is no deadline to apply. For more information, email SepticHelp@epa.gov.

SMPDC in the News

Longtime Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission Executive Director, Paul Schumacher, to retire – Portland Press Herald

Kennebunk, York beaches sustain more damage after high tide wreaks havoc on Maine shores – Seacoastonline

Sunday storm made it a triple whammy on the Maine coast – Saco Bay News

Project approved to make Maine roads more resilient in climate change fight – News Center Maine

Maine towns band together to offer ‘energy navigators,’ extra funding for home energy upgrades – Grist

Small businesses benefit from new economic recovery program – Portland Press Herald

Remember to follow us on social media for more frequent news and updates, or reach out to learn more.

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