Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that 12 organizations and towns across the State of Maine have received a total of $4,855,281 to support economic development and infrastructure projects. This funding was awarded through the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) State Economic and Infrastructure Development Investment Program.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission serves as a critical resource for northern and central Maine, making investments to help increase job growth and boost local economies,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this investment, which will support important economic development projects, create and sustain quality jobs, and help grow Maine’s rural economy.”
The funding will be allocated as follows:
· Axiom Education & Training Center will receive $150,000 to support digital literacy skills learning for approximately 10,000 adult learners throughout Maine, helping to strengthen their workforce skills and increase job placement rates.
· Loring Development Authority of Maine will receive $500,000 to replace 20,000 feet of aging sewer pipes and manholes, resolving overflows of untreated wastewater and benefitting 1,062 sewer users.
· Frenchville will receive $758,000 to upgrade and replace parts of the existing pump station.
· Hermon will receive $50,000 to modernize its pump station and increase wastewater capacity for both existing and new industrial properties.
· Eastern Maine Development Corporation will receive $350,000 to provide technical assistance for climate resiliency planning, growth strategies for second stage businesses, and access to capital.
· Pittsfield will receive $245,000 to reconstruct 4,100 feet of its sidewalk, replace an electrical control, and add 4,100 feet of broadband fiber, helping to increase and diversify business growth and jobs, retain and increase talent, and improve working wages by creating a safe and thriving downtown.
· Greater Augusta Utility District will receive $1,000,000 to replace a utility crossing of the Kennebec River, provide water system looping resiliency with additional piping, and increase the fiber optic system reliability with new fiber cable.
· Vinalhaven will receive $1,000,000 to construct and improve infrastructure along Main Street, which will sustain 52 businesses and 200 jobs.
· Guilford will receive $280,000 to enhance existing green space and improve sidewalks, walking paths, and signage to develop a walkable downtown. The funding will also be used to create a robust walkable downtown WiFi network for residents.
· Millinocket will receive $203,439 to create a new terminal for their municipal airport.
· Danforth will receive $229,000 to revitalize its downtown, which will help to increase the town’s economic development capacity, expand entrepreneurial opportunities, and support ecological restoration.
· Western Foothills Land Trust will receive $89,842 to improve access to biking and Nordic ski trails, warming huts, and equipment at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway. The funding will also be used to create 72 parking spaces with 4 electric vehicles charges for outdoor farmer’s markets, classes, arts, and performance spaces.
The NBRC provides grants for economic and infrastructure projects throughout northern and central Maine, including Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington counties.
As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins helped to secure a $5 million increase for NBRC programs in the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water funding bill, which now awaits consideration by the full Senate.