Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Support of Bonds

PRESS RELEASE

April 25, 2012
GrowSmart Maine
309 Cumberland Avenue
Suite 202
Portland, ME 04101
207.699.4330
CONTACT: Nancy E. Smith

Testimony in support of bonds by Nancy E Smith, Executive Director

April 25, 2012

 

Senator Rosen, Representative Flood and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs.  I am writing today with a recommendation from GrowSmart Maine regarding bonds for investments in Maine.

I fully believe in the need to focus our investments on projects that will benefit Mainers in two ways; immediate job creation and improvements that will endure beyond the life of the original investment.  With that in mind, GrowSmart Maine supports the following proposals:

Transportation: $50MM.  Our transportation system is in need of immediate improvements so that all modes of moving people and advancing commerce are functioning well.

Wastewater and Drinking Water Revolving Loan Funds:  $15.5 MM.  Investments too must be made in this most basic infrastructure of our communities.

Innovation in Research and Development: $50MM.  To be most effective, this investment in businesses with the highest potential for growth and job creation is best done through the 100% competitive process at Maine Technology Institute.

Land for Maine’s Future:  $20MM, with $4MM each for working waterfront and working farmland.  Conservation lands and working lands are vital to Maine’s natural resource economy; both in the rural locations where the activity occurs, and in the ripple effect throughout the state. 

Communities for Maine’s Future:  $4MM.  Although it may be too soon to have data on the full impact of this program, I can tell you that the one project in my hometown of Monmouth has kept workers employed and productive in the months since funds were awarded last fall.  In addition, Monmouth will soon have a truly multi-use asset, because this building will provide needed work space for The Theater at Monmouth (a great source of economic activity here!) as well as the only emergency community facility between Augusta and Lewiston.  We are surely getting our money’s worth from this investment.

Infrastructure for natural resources as proposed in LD 852:  $3MM.  The men and women working in Maine’s farms, fisheries, and forests will be more productive, will provide even more value to the state of Maine, when the state invests in infrastructure essential to these industries. 

Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks.

 

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Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Support of Bonds

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine

February 23, 2012

 

 

Senator Rosen, Representative Flood 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, a statewide non-profit, membership-based organization working to improve Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character and communities, and enhance our state's quality places.  In recognition that this committee, if it decides to move forward with a bond package, will likely combine aspects of several bond proposals, we wish to express our support for several bond proposals at this time, some of which have been heard previously and others being heard today and Friday. 

The Action Plan for promoting sustainable prosperity in Maine outlined in our 2006 report, Charting Maine’s Future, calls for the use of bonding to invest in our economy and quality places.   Many of the specific areas that were singled out for investment, including community revitalization, land, farm and waterfront conservation,  research and development, and our natural resource based economy, are encompassed by the bond proposals you are considering this session.

GrowSmart Maine strongly believes that our state would benefit greatly from the strategic use of bonding to enhance economic development efforts, fund research, development and commercialization projects, invest in infrastructure improvements, and continue the state’s commitment to the Land for Maine’s Future and Communities for Maine’s Future programs.  We urge the committee to include these important investments in a bold and balanced bond package this year.

Specifically, we are speaking in support of the following bills before you today:

 

• LD 829, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Transportation, Broadband Infrastructure, Downtown Revitalization, Land for Maine's Future and Training Facilities in Labor Market Areas with Higher than Average Unemployment for Tourism-related Training  

• LD 842, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Research and Sustainable Development of Maine's Natural Resources

• LD 852, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Maine's Natural Resource-based Economy

• LD 1187, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Revitalize Maine's Downtowns through Innovative Business Development and the Creative Economy

 

In addition to these bills, GrowSmart Maine expresses equally strong support for the bond proposals put forth by Senator Rector (LD 225) and Representative Cain (LD 409) fund the Maine Technology Institute.  MTI provides a competitive process for awarding funding to Maine-based public and private institutions.  This competitive process is much more effective than earmarking bond funds for specific projects.

Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks.

 

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