Governor LePage Announces Availability of Northern Border Regional Commission Grant Funds

April 15, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 15
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is accepting applications for grant funds provided by the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC).

The NBRC was authorized in the 2009 Farm Bill by the U.S. Congress and is intended to mitigate economic distress and to create job opportunities across a thirty-six county region in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Twelve Maine counties are eligible to compete for NBRC funds including the counties of Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington. It is expected that $4.5 million in grants will be awarded by September 2014 and that the maximum grant award for any one project will be $250,000.

“I am pleased to announce the availability of the 2014 Northern Border Regional Commission grants and I am eager to deploy these funds to maximize the creation of quality jobs for Mainers in some of our more economically disadvantaged regions,” said Governor Paul LePage. “These well-timed funds will certainly help fuel Maine’s continued economic resurgence.”

The NBRC is led by a board that consists of the Federal Co-Chair and the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. According to the NBRC, “eligible projects must develop the transportation, water, sewer, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure of the region; assist the region in obtaining job skills and employment related education, as well as entrepreneurship, technology and business development; provide basic health care and other public services for those areas that are severely economically distressed and underdeveloped; promote resource conservation, tourism, recreation, and preservation of open spaces in a manner consistent with economic development goals; and, to promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.”

Each state is tasked with developing its own process for scoring and ranking eligible applications that meet all the criteria of the NBRC. As in past years, the State of Maine will use an evaluation method that ensures the greatest impact on the creation and/or retention of jobs.

Applications for NBRC funds are now being accepted through the State of Maine’s economic development partners at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG), Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG), Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC), and the Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC). These partner organizations will offer technical assistance to prospective grantees and can be reached at the following numbers: AVCOG (207) 783-9186, EMDC (207) 942-6389, KVCOG (207) 453-4258, and NMDC (207) 498-8736.

To learn more about the NBRC grant program, and to receive technical assistance information, interested parties should contact Brian Whitney at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development at 624-9804 or or any of the partner organizations listed above.