Village Partnership Initiative

The Village Partnership Initiative is designed to be available to all willing communities that have or can agree upon a local vision. Village projects can vary from small, spot improvements to large, once-in-a-lifetime investments if we can successfully partner to access federal discretionary funds. Working with other agencies, these communities should have access to broadband, as good internet connections are as important as physical connections are today.

Click on one of the initiative types below to learn more.

Large Transformative

Focus

This program is new for 2022. MaineDOT has set aside $4 million in state seed monies in the first year and $4 million in each of the subsequent years as matching funds for investment in Maine village and downtown centers. MaineDOT will work in partnership with local officials to reinvest and revitalize one of the distinguishing features of New England: our iconic village centers. Depending upon the vision of each individual municipality, we can look to make once-in-a-lifetime investments in the lower-speed areas where people meet, shop, and do business. These village areas need to be built on a human scale: walkable, bicycle-friendly, and business-friendly. In sum, this can be bigger than just transportation; it is potentially place-making. These investments, when coupled with broadband if currently unavailable, will create an incentive for businesses to want to locate, people to live, and others to visit and possibly relocate. We believe these projects will improve pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety and have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by allowing people to do more business locally.

Types of Projects

MaineDOT has had success with projects like this in the past. A look at Naples, Bridgton, and now Fryeburg on the Route 302 corridor provides examples in western Maine. Woodford’s Corner in Portland and the downtown in Ogunquit show our vision in more urban areas. The downtowns and villages of Hallowell and Belgrade also show realized potential. To build on these successes, MaineDOT has been designing and standing up a Village Partnership Initiative on a modest scale, using state and local funds. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), through various grant opportunities, has the potential to expand that vision many times by allowing the state and local funds to be used as match to federal grant funding. We believe we will be able to truly partner with communities to envision, plan, and revitalize their villages.

Due to their complexity, it is anticipated that most of these projects will be designed and constructed by MaineDOT and its contractors.

Eligibility

Opportunities are available for any Maine village or downtown on a state or state aid highway where a community has a vision for significant improvements to lower-speed areas that are or could become a community center inviting businesses and community facilities and are walkable and bicycle friendly. These projects and anticipated to cost $10 million or more and would likely be contingent on securing special federal allocations such as earmarks or grants. The BIL offers a unique set of opportunities for this program that were not viable in the past.

Funding

The initial scoping and preliminary design for these projects can be funded through a cooperative agreement between MaineDOT and a community. This would be done under or in a similar manner to the Planning Partnership Initiative program below. Some of the seed monies from this program in 2022 may be used to augment the Planning Partnership Initiative program for initial village incentive program scope development. The initial planning will require an agreement between MaineDOT and the community. The agreement will require a municipal match generally based on the following:

  • Municipal Property Valuation less than $150M, 70% State, 30% Municipal
  • Municipal Property Valuation a$150M to $350M, 60% State, 40% Municipal
  • Municipal Property Valuation >$350M, 50% State, 50% Municipal

The maximum amount of the agreement will be dependent on the complexity of the project and the amount of design needed to be competitive on the federal level.

These are complex projects and will take several years to develop. Once the project is scoped and an adequate amount of public outreach and design work is complete, MaineDOT and the community will develop a strategy for applying for special federal allocations such as earmarks or BIL grants. The application may be bundled with other communities across the state to make the package more competitive on the federal level. Once a grant or earmark is secured, MaineDOT and the municipality will enter into a construction agreement. Most federal transportation funding requires a 20-percent non-federal match. The non-federal match may be shared by MaineDOT and the community at a ratio similar to those above. For example, a $10-million construction project could be funded the following way: $8 million federal, $1 million state, and $1 million municipal. MaineDOT may be able to suggest financing opportunities for the municipality.

How to Apply

Applying is as simple as a town official contacting your regional planner in MaineDOT’s Bureau of Planning. The planner will arrange a time to meet with you and begin a conversation about your vision and how it might fit this program. To contact your MaineDOT regional planner, call 207-624-3300.

Small Spot Improvements

Focus

MaineDOT has set aside $1 million in state monies in all three years of this Work Plan for the development of small village improvements. This program is new for 2022 and is designed to make spot improvements to existing villages. This program will be used by communities to better define the limits of their villages and improve safety, using gateway treatments, traffic calming, and pedestrian enhancements. In 2022, this program will invest $1 million in state funds, leveraging another $1 million in local funding. This program is intended to create safer and more inviting villages on state and state aid highways across Maine.

Types of Projects

These projects can range from gateway treatments, marking the beginning of a village area to help slow traffic, to improving pedestrian crossings and ADA compliance. They may also be used to enhance on-street parking, improve sidewalks, etc.

Eligibility

Opportunities are available for any Maine village or downtown on a state or state aid highway, where a community has a identified the need for spot improvements that will improve safety and the viability of the village.

Funding and Delivery

These projects will be funded on a first come/first serve basis through cooperative agreement between MaineDOT and a community. Projects could range from several hundred thousand dollars to $500,000 total project cost. Each year, MaineDOT anticipates funding four or five projects under this program.

  • Municipal Property Valuation less than $150M, 70% State, 30% Municipal
  • Municipal Property Valuation a$150M to $350M, 60% State, 40% Municipal
  • Municipal Property Valuation >$350M, 50% State, 50% Municipal

Procurement and construction are typically administered by the municipality under the direction of a Maine Professional Engineer in a similar manner to the Municipal Partnership Initiative projects.

How to Apply

Applying is as simple as a town official contacting your regional planner in MaineDOT’s Bureau of Planning. The planner will arrange a time to meet with you and begin a conversation about your vision and how it might fit this program. To contact your MaineDOT regional planner, call 207-624-3300.