April 25, 2012
309 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101
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.