**NEW** Road Salt Bids Due in Mid July orthern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) is seeking bids for Road Salt (Sodium Chloride) on behalf of 44 member communities the for the 2016-2017 winter season. These 44 municipalities have estimated that they will purchase 12,697 tons of salt during the winter season.
To view the Request for Proposal, click here.
For more information, contact Jay Kamm, Senior Planner. or
**NEW** NMDC Annual Report Released at Annual Meeting
CARIBOU — Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess will serve as the chairman of the Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) Executive board for the upcoming fiscal year. Bleess was elected chair during the NMDC annual meeting held Thursday, June 23 at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center.
The vice-chairman is Jon Frederick of Castle Hill, Ralph Dwyer of Ashland will serve as treasurer and Keith Brown of Washburn was voted as secretary for 2016-17.
Two new board members were also selected for two-year terms. Ryan Pelletier, town manager in Madawaska, and Jim Risner, town manager of Fort Fairfield, were voted in by Australian ballot.
Also at the annual meeting, NMDC Executive Director Bob Clark presented the annual report for the organization. Clark highlighted a number of programs that directly benefited the residents of Aroostook and Washington counties.
“During the past fiscal year, NMDC has worked to promote Aroostook County as a quality tourism destination, provided loans to new and existing businesses, provided environmental assessments of possible Brownfield sites and completed a very successful Community Guided Planning and Zoning process to possibly encourage smart development in the Unorganized Territory,” said Clark. “Other economic development efforts include mapping produce distribution routes and assessing needs in transportation, successfully leveraging three grant programs to grow a medical appliance business in the Presque Isle Industrial Park and completing a statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. Another big success last year was the continued growth of the Northern Forest Products Industry Cluster, spearheaded by the Aroostook Partnership.”
Other highlights include:
- Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) assistance lead to more than $4-million dollars in federal and state contracts in Aroostook and Washington counties.
- The cooperative purchasing of salt saved 53 municipalities in the region nearly $23,000.
- The Northern Maine Brownfields Initiative paid for nine Phase 1 environmental site assessments and seven Phase 2 assessments. The primary goal is the cleanup of properties for future economic development.
- The Business Finance Division completed 37 loans in fiscal 2015-16 for more than $1.7 million, which helped create 28 jobs and retain 128.
Clark pointed out only a few examples and thus urged NMDC members to take the opportunity to review the annual report, which can be found here.
CGPZ Leads to Business Zone
AROOSTOOK COUNTY – The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) recently adopted zoning rules that provide opportunity for rural business to locate and grow in new areas of Aroostook County. The rule changes establish a rural business development zone that can be used by businesses and property owners to accommodate business development in 30 towns, townships and plantations across Aroostook County that are part of the unorganized and deorganized areas of the state. The changes are a product of the LUPC’s Community Guided Planning and Zoning (CGPZ) initiative, which joins with local partners to help regions identify their land use needs and plan for the region’s future.
“This is an example of how state government can assist local communities in strengthening rural economies by removing regulatory hurdles that impede economic development,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The LUPC’s work with local partners in Aroostook County demonstrates that a pro-job planning approach can be taken without adversely impacting Maine’s environment.”
“The Governor has been very clear since day one that he wants to create more jobs and economic opportunities in rural Maine,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “I commend the hard work of our Aroostook County partners and the Land Use Planning Commission. Their work promotes a more user-friendly model for activities that impact unorganized and deorganized areas in Maine.”
In Aroostook County, Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) and a citizen steering committee worked with the LUPC to develop new zoning opportunities and improve the business climate in the county.
“We recognize that home-based and other rural businesses are an important part of the economy in Aroostook County,” said Nick Livesay, Director of the LUPC. “The dedicated residents and other stakeholders who served on the steering committee, with support from NMDC and the Commission, have developed regulatory changes that give new opportunity for business growth in rural northern Maine.”
The rule changes developed in Aroostook County are the first to come out of the LUPC’s CGPZ initiative and become effective on May 9. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of land use planning and provide for economic development opportunities in the unorganized and deorganized areas of Maine have focused, in part, on the need for more locally guided and proactive planning for these areas. This is a result of 2012 legislation that called for more prospective zoning and emphasized the LUPC’s role in honoring the rights and participation of residents and property owners in the areas of the state that it serves. The LUPC will continue to collaborate with partners in Aroostook County to plan for future land use needs, and is working with local and regional partners on similar CGPZ projects in other regions including, in Franklin, Somerset, and Washington counties.
NMDC Offers Code Enforcement Exams
NMDC, in cooperation with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers code enforcement officer and plumbing inspector examinations in the Caribou Office.
New code enforcement officers must demonstrate competence through written examinations. The exams test an applicant’s knowledge of a specific area of code enforcement specialization including: shoreland zoning, land use planning, building standards, internal plumbing, subsurface wastewater, and legal issues.
An applicant must successfully complete the special area exam for each of the codes that they are appointed to administer and the legal issues exam. The specific exams required are based on the applicant’s job description.
Exams are offered at least once a year and are free of charge for the first three attempts. Exam include: shoreland zoning; land use planning; internal plumbing; subsurface wastewater disposal (also referred to as External Plumbing); building standards – consists of the seven (7) individual codes within the building standards specific area: residential building code, commercial building code, residential energy code, commercial energy code, indoor residential ventilation code, indoor commercial ventilation code, and residential radon code; and legal issues.
Exams are offered in Caribou and require a minimum of a three-day notice to set up a time. NMDC does not provide printed training materials but a computer is available for use during the exams. DECD grades all of the exams and notifies the CEO of the results.
For more information, contact Jay Kamm, Senior Planner. or Planner.
|| 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Introduction to Hub Zone
Washington County Community College, Riverview Hall, Calais. For more information contact Dana Delano at email@example.com, for more information.
||NMDC Office Closed
||10 a.m. to Noon
Aroostook County Tourism
Board meeting in Caribou at the NMDC Boardroom.