Maine Municipal Assistance Program Climate Adaptation Assistance
Towns across Maine are grappling with higher rainfall events and coastal flooding. The Maine Municiple Assistance Program and the Hancock County Planning Commission are collaborating to assist towns in identifying flood hazards and prepare adaptation plans. Visit our climate adaptation page for more information and links to resources.
Maine Office of Geographic information Systems Aerial Imagery
The Maine Office of GIS has published new documents and interactive maps showing off the results of the GeoLibraries orthoimagery programs. Hancock County was "flown" in 2005 and again in 2014. The next proposed aerial imagery flight is proposed for 2019. As in past years, all if the county participates towns will receive a basic level of image quality (18" pixels), which will be better than in past years. Towns are invited to pay for higher resolution imagery and more detailed analysis. Click here to see the proposed price list for 2019.
If you are interested in having your community participate in acquisition of three or six inch pixel resolution mapping the last tab in the web page has an interactive map with pricing. Call HCPC to discuss the costs and benefits of enhanced aerial imagery.
How resilient is your town to floods?
We would like to work with Hancock County towns on a rapid assessment of flood hazards and resiliency plans. We will provide maps, analysis and we will work with towns to complete a Flood Resilience Checklist and develop alternative adaptation strategies. Please click here if you would like to learn more about this program. There is no charge for participating.
Webinars on Community Building
January 5 – Northern New England Chapter
A Regional Approach for Age-Friendly Communities
Speakers: Sylvia von Aulock, AICP, Derek Shooster, Maddie DiIonno
What would an Age-Friendly Community look like, what sort of services would be available, and how would residents of all ages be able to enjoy that community to its fullest? These are the sorts of questions that staff at Southern NH Planning Commission (SNHPC) is asking their 14 communities within the greater Manchester area. In 2016, SNHPC received funding through the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, NH Department of Transportation, AARP, and others to conduct age-friendly assessments in each community. These assessments sought to raise awareness and examine assets, opportunities, and roadblocks in quality of life for both seniors and millennials. The next phase of SNHPC’s Becoming Age-Friendly Program is underway. Staff will assist three communities and ten local businesses to create age-friendly strategic plans that will address actions to improve transportation, accessibility, housing, engagement and other elements that would assist the community in becoming age-friendly. See what we’ve done, and how you can apply it to your own communities.
January 26 – County Planning Division
Getting Credit for Open Space: Community Rating System (CRS) Open Space Preservation (Activity 420) Tools, Guidance and Success Stories
Speakers: Melissa Rosa, John Rozum, Laura Flessner, Robyn Wiseman
Preserving floodplains as open space helps keep residents, businesses, and infrastructure out of harm’s way and allows communities to return quickly to normal after flooding occurs. Under National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS), it can also help a community earn discounts on flood insurance premiums. FEMA’s CRS is a federal incentive program that provides flood insurance policyholders with discounts on their premiums in exchange for their community taking actions to reduce flood risk. This free webinar will highlight how communities may achieve success in the green elements of the program. This is your opportunity to learn more about nature-based solutions for community resilience, hear success stories from around the country, ask questions, and share input. Three agencies, who are members along with APA in the Digital Coast Partnership, will share their experience and knowledge about tools, regulations and the process for building community resilience through the CRS.
Heart Health: It's a Walk in the Park!
We are excited about the launch of our new initiative, which maps heart-healthy 30-minute walks around Hancock County! We hope these resources will make it easier for residents to incorporate a bit of cardiovascular activity into their daily routines.
Click to check out the project website, or the Facebook page. You might also see one of our posters or map cards in your town office. Share the links and help us get the word out. We hope you will try out one of these great walks, and let us know what you think!
Capital Grants Program
The Alliance for Maine’s Marine Economy, in partnership with Maine Technology Institute, is responsible for coordinating a Capital Grants Program to assist traditional fisheries, aquaculture and other seafood-related businesses to grow, become profitable, and create jobs by providing up to 50% of the costs of capital equipment related projects and/or to advance the standards and practices in these marine industries. Capital grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to sustain and advance Maine’s marine economy through business expansion and new product development.
For information on the Capital Grants Program, deadlines and the application processes, and other MTI programs, visit the Maine Technology Institute at https://www.mainetechnology.org/program/alliance-maines-marine-economy-capital-grants-program/.
Grants for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Projects
DEP is inviting proposals for projects to help communities implement a watershed-based plan to restore impaired water bodies or protect threatened streams or marine waters that are named on DEP’s Nonpoint Priority Watersheds List.
A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all amendments related to this RFP, can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml.
2018 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant
As of Friday, March 10th all documents and dates associated with the Maine Land and Water Conservation Fund program have been updated. The next grant application round is now officially open!
Any community interested in applying for LWCF assistance must first request a pre-approval site inspection. The link to the request form is on the department's LWCF grant website, but for your convenience you can access that form by clicking on this link.
The purpose of this site inspection is to evaluate whether the site is eligible for funding assistance. During this on site meeting we will also discuss the proposed work and long term commitments of accepting LWCF assistance. For communities with existing LWCF assisted sites, we will also discuss any compliance issues that may exist with these as they may affect the eligibility to apply for this funding.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension program has put together a handy resource for farmers, gardeners, and landowners experiencing the negative impacts of drought. Click here to check it out!
USDA Announces Streamlined Guaranteed Loans and Additional Lender Category for Small-Scale Operators
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of a streamlined version of their guaranteed loans, which are tailored for smaller scale farms and urban producers. The program, called EZ Guarantee Loans, uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations.
USDA is providing a 90-day period for the public to review and comment on program improvements. To review program details, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 0560-AI34 and follow the instructions to submit comments.
More than half of all FSA loans go to new farmers and more than a quarter to underserved borrowers. FSA also offers loans of up to $5,000 to young farmers and ranchers though the Youth Loan Program. Loans are made to eligible youth to finance agricultural projects, with almost 9,000 young people now participating. More information about the available types of FSA farm loans can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/farmloans or by contacting your local FSA office. To find your nearest office location, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
HCPC has compost bins and recycling bins for sale!
Recycling bins are $9 and compost bins are $48. They can be purchased at HCPC during regular business hours. For more information, call Sheri at 667-7131.
Miss the annual Household Hazardous Waste collection event? Here are some other ideas for safely disposing of household hazardous waste. If you need to dispose of paint, find a collection site near you at www.paintcare.org.