Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 323

As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. Based on my experiences as a farmer and a former legislator that served on the Agriculture, Forestry & Conservation and the Business, Research & Economic Development committees, in addition to several Joint Select Committees, I believe this bill fits that description.

PRESS RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 742, “An Act To Eliminate the Sunset Date of the Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credit”

Because this tax credit is most often used within our downtowns, as these buildings are rehabilitated for reuse, developers tie in to existing sewer, water, and utilities, along with sidewalks, roads, and public transit. These projects, made possible by this tax credit, lead to the very efficient use of public resources.

PRESS RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 644, “ An Act To Add Transit Services to the Growth Management Program Comprehensive Plan. ”

When Maine municipalities prepare their comprehensive plan, citizens are laying the foundation needed to chart their own future by thinking through the assets and identifying challenges in their community.
By amending the growth management program comprehensive plan elements to include transit services in the list of existing transportation systems, Representative Cotta’s bill will allow a town or city to evaluate transportation more broadly than currently provided in the comprehensive plan process.

Your Voice is needed to preserve the Historic Preservation Tax Credit

The old mill buildings along Saco Falls in Biddeford are now filled with Maine families enjoying solar-powered hot water, a playground and bike and kayak storage. The historic windows and brick façade of the Baxter Library on Congress Street in Portland are now restored to their 1800’s glamour. In Bangor, the 1830 Maine Hall historic…

Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Favor of LD 587: “An Act to Reduce the Cost of Delivering Certain State Services”

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our government is a key component of this effort. GrowSmart Maine commissioned Charting Maine’s Future in 2006, and in 2010, sponsored Re-inventing Maine Government as a companion report, expanding on the recommendation within Charting Maine’s Future to trim government.

Press Release: GrowSmart Maine testifies in opposition to LD135; “An Act to Allow the Placement of Certain Road Signs that Advertise a Small Business”

Although we appreciate the intent of the sponsor, we believe LD 135 would not significantly help business owners, while it has the potential to adversely impact Maine’s distinctive character, in both our downtowns and rural areas. This bill is focused on businesses of ten or fewer employees. As we all know, this constitutes the vast majority of all businesses here; Maine is a small business state.

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 220, “An Act Relating to Maine Farm Wineries” March 2, 2011

The proposals outlined in LD 220 to allow holders of farm winery licenses to sell wine at farmers’ markets and to display up to 25 bottles of wine in a shop window are common sense ideas which will empower local farmers while at the same time supporting local businesses. These proposed changes to Maine law are small but significant examples of how the Legislature can act to continue to support and promote local agriculture and small businesses within the State of Maine.

GrowSmart Testifies on LD 322

The intent of the IGA is to provide a process by which a municipality would gather data for careful consideration of potential economic impacts of a proposed large scale retail development on the host municipality. The IGA came about because many municipalities simply did not have existing municipal ordinances in place to adequately deal with the broad impacts of large scale retail developments.