GrowSmart Maine Testifies in support of LD 1760 to Preserve Historic Buildings

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in support of LD 1760

January 25, 2018

Senator Hamper, Representative Gattine and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, my name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine.

We are a statewide non-partisan, non-profit, membership-based organization working to create lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine. We support this bill because preservation of our historic buildings and other structures ensures that they will continue to contribute to Maine’s unique quality of place; providing places for us to live, work and play that connect our heritage with our future.

I provided testimony in support of a variety of community revitalization bond proposals on January 9th.  At that time, I asked the Committee to consider recapitalizing the Communities for Maine’s Future program. I referenced this proposal as well as Sen Chenette’s LD 1343.  While Sen Chenette’s bill would add a valuable component to the CMF program, this bill recapitalizing one of its original purposes, to provide funds that could be used to buy/protect/sell historic buildings and structures much the same way as is done in strategic land conservation, through a revolving loan fund.

See GrowSmart Maine’s Testimony on January 9th, 2018 in support of community revitalization bonds here: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Support of… State Funding of Programs that Strengthen Maine’s Communities & Economy

The impacts of this bill are economic, with the Maine-based job creation that comes with rehabilitating old buildings; social, in preserving and making useful again pieces of our heritage; and environmental, as there is no “greener” building than one that already exists on site.

As this committee will soon face the daunting task of prioritizing the many bonds that have been proposed, we at GrowSmart Maine will assist in any way that is helpful.

I recommend that the Communities for Maine’s Future Program rise to the top, because of the many ways in which it empowers communities to determine what they will be in the future.