Northern Border Regional Commission Announces Maine's Grant Process

By Ramona du Houx - July 26th, 2011 · 

 Congressman Mike Michaud praised the announcement by the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) that it will begin accepting applications for federal assistance beginning August 1st with the goal of awarding approximately $1.25 million by September 30th, 2011. The deadline for applications is August 29th. Michaud authored the bill that created the NBRC, which is a commission charged with investing federal resources in the economic development of the most distressed areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern New York.

“Our region’s most distressed areas are in great need of additional resources to support job growth and business development,” said Michaud. “I encourage all Maine communities in the region to look into this funding opportunity.”

Last year, the NBRC awarded seven grants, totaling $1.3 million to the four states, including $250,000 for an expansion of the Port of Eastport, which is part of a project that will result in the retention of 18 jobs and the creation of 26 new ones. The seven successful applicants indicated that at the completion of the projects, 700 jobs would be saved and/or created. Also, every $1 of NBRC funds would be matched by $11 of other public and private dollars.

According to the NBRC, eligible projects must develop the infrastructure of the region; assist in providing job skills and employment related education; provide basic health care and other public services for areas that are severely economically distressed; promote resources conservation, tourism, and recreation; or promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.

Applicants interested in more information should contact their local economic development districts, such as the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in Auburn, the Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor, the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments in Fairfield, and the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou.