WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) announced that the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) awarded a total of $2,900,000 to address eight infrastructure projects throughout Aroostook, Somerset, and Knox counties.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission’s continued support for rural Maine is welcome news for people across our state,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “These investments will strengthen our communities, bolster local economies, and improve the quality of life for rural Maine people.”
In early March, Senators Collins and King introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). This bipartisan legislation would extend authorization of the NBRC for five years and make additional reforms to encourage business retention and expansion in northern Maine and distressed rural communities. Language reauthorizing the NBRC, based on this legislation, was included in the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, which overwhelmingly passed last month.
The NBRC is a federal-state partnership that was created by the United States Congress in 2008 in order to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private sector job creation throughout the northern counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.
The funding will be awarded as follows:
- SOUTHERN AROOSTOOK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION: this project will be awarded $250,000 to construct a 12,000 square foot industrial facility, and install new equipment for food grade testing and manufacturing. The facility will create 10 jobs, as well as supply mouse food formulas for Jackson Laboratory.
- PRESQUE ISLE UTILITIES DISTRICT: this project will be awarded $500,000 to construct a pump station in the Presque Isle Region. The project will consist of sewer system upgrades and replacements.
- MAPLETON SEWER DISTRICT: this project will be awarded $340,000 to extend a sewer across Route 163 in Mapleton, and will create 6 new jobs.
- MADISON ELECTRIC WORKS: this project will be awarded $310,000 to expand the Town of Madison’s industrial park, which plans to include a new natural gas pipe, water treatment system, electrical transformers and 200 feet of new sewer and water lines.
- TOWN OF WASHBURN, MAINE: this project will be awarded $500,000 to add 3,600 feet of water main piping for wastewater conveyance.
- TOWN OF HARTLAND, MAINE: this project will be awarded $500,000 to upgrade the existing wastewater treatment facility.
- TOWN OF ROCKPORT, MAINE: this project will be awarded $250,000 to expand the public sewer. This project will have a profound economic impact on the area, as the sewer will allow for anticipated growth in the area, expansion of commercial uses, and continue to service 26 existing businesses who employ 184 people.
- TOWN OF THOMASTON, MAINE: this project will be awarded $250,000 to finish the final phase of the Thomaston Business Block Redevelopment project. By cleaning up the block and attracting new businesses to fill vacant storefronts, the finished project is expected to add 41 new jobs and contribute $1.15M in new economic activity.