Happy 2024 from SMPDC!

Thank you for another year of continued engagement and support. We are grateful to work with so many wonderful communities. 2024 is starting off with plenty of exciting projects and updates read on to find out more!

Webinar Feb. 13: FEMA Floodplain Maps & Ordinance Changes

Join SMPDC on Tuesday, February 13, at 10:00am for an informational webinar with staff from the Maine Floodplain Management Program. FEMA’s new Flood Insurance Rate Maps for York County will become effective as of July 17, 2024. Communities must update their floodplain ordinance by that date to continue participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This webinar will provide an overview, answer questions, and highlight opportunities for incorporating flood resilience measures in your ordinance updates. 

Register here to join us!

Safety Action Plan Survey Now Live

The Kittery Area Comprehensive Transportation System (KACTS) MPO and its consultant team are partnering with the region’s communities to undertake a Safety Action Plan to improve roadway safety outcomes in southern Maine. This effort aims to significantly reduce or eliminate roadway fatalities and serious injuries by transforming how the system is designed, operated, and managed. If you are a resident, business owner, or commuter in the KACTS region (York, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick, Berwick, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport), we want to hear about your roadway safety concerns and priorities.

Click here to take the survey!

To learn more about the KACTS Safety Action Plan, visit the project website or email KACTSSafetyActionPlan@smpdc.org.

Economic Recovery Hub Program Announces First Round of Grant Awards & Upcoming Second Round

Rhona Deah of Rhona Beauty, Biddeford

Michael Gill of River Junction Brewing Company, Sanford

After a highly successful first round of our Economic Recovery Hubs grant program, the program made 70 awards totaling more than $400,000 to small businesses across our region who opened after January 1, 2020 and experienced pandemic impacts. Participating businesses will receive financial assistance of up to $15,000 per business, as well as technical assistance in bookkeeping, web design, and social media strategies through an array of expert service providers. The program is funded by the Federal American Rescue Plan through the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

Round 2 of the Hub grants will include grants of up to $10,000 per business and will launch on March 1, with the application window open through April 12.

View the Hub Grant Fact Sheet
Visit the Hub Program Website

LD 2003 Deadline July 1, 2024

The deadline for Town Meeting communities to be consistent with LD 2003 is July 1, 2024. LD 1706, approved last spring, postponed the original effective date of LD 2003 to the following:

  • For municipalities who enact ordinances by the municipal officers without further action or approval by the voters of the municipality, the deadline was January 1, 2024.
  • All other municipalities are required to be consistent by July 1, 2024.

If your municipality has any questions or requires assistance with ordinance amendments and adoption, please reach out. 

Visit the DECD Website for More Information

Climate Ready Coast Project Wraps Up: Final Plan Available

The Climate Ready Coast – Southern Maine project, which involved the 10 coastal communities from Kittery north to Scarborough and numerous regional, state, and federal partners, culminated at the end of November with the release of the final Southern Maine Regional Coastal Resilience Plan.

The plan serves as a roadmap for scoping priority projects and developing grant applications for coastal adaptation action and outlines needs, opportunities, and possible next steps for advancing local and regional resilience projects.

View the final plan here!

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Webinar Series

The State's BIL Webinar Series continues with two upcoming sessions. Attend to learn more about state funding opportunities for infrastructure and planning projects.

  • Energy Programs & Building Efficiency. Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, 12:00 – 1:00pm. Hear about opportunities to improve energy efficiency in buildings and enable the expansion of affordable, clean energy generation and transmission networks. Register here.

  • Resilience & Environmental Protection. Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, 12:00 – 1:00pm. Hear about programs to strengthen the state's preparedness for storm events, flooding, and wildfires; to build resilience of transportation networks, drinking water and wastewater systems; to mitigate contaminants and pollution; and to improve natural capacity of watersheds and ecosystems. Register here.
Recordings of Previous Webinars Available Here

Funding Opportunities

  • USDOT RAISE Grant Program: Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grants are available for planning or constructing surface transportation infrastructure projects that will improve safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity including tourism, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation. Application deadline Feb. 28, 2024

  • USDOT Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP): Funding available for planning and capital projects that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. Application deadline April 30, 2024

SMPDC in the News

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

Maine towns band together to offer ‘energy navigators,’ extra funding for home energy upgrades - Energy News Network

Strategies for supporting affordable housing related to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard spotlighted in report - Portland Press Herald

Kittery gets $210,000 grant to turn town properties into affordable housing - Seacoastonline

Welcoming New Staff and Resilience Corps Fellow

Melanie Nash, Sustainability and Resilience Planner, joins SMPDC after serving as an Island Institute Fellow for the Town of Long Island in Casco Bay, where she worked on numerous sustainability and development projects. At SMPDC, Melanie works on climate action planning, coastal resilience, and the Community Resilience Partnership.

Mikala Jordan, Land Use and Transportation Planner, has returned to Maine after several years in Utah doing municipal and regional planning. At SMPDC, Mikala supports projects including comprehensive and open space planning, the Joint Land Use Study, and the regional Long Range Transportation Plan.

SMPDC also welcomes Resilience Corps Fellow, Kaya Williams! Before joining Resilience Corps, Kaya worked in the environmental education sector at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Waynflete School. As a Resilience Corps Fellow, she is excited to help implement the Energy Navigators program and support community members to increase their homes' energy efficiency.

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

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