Grants enhance Maine’s quality of life and will increase tourism

By Ramona du Houx

September 29, 2010

Maine Congressman Mike Michaud praised the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) announcement that it has approved close to half a million in funding for three projects in the State of Maine.

“I am pleased to see the commission moving forward and investing in our state,” said Michaud, who authored the legislation that created the NBRC, which is charged with addressing the community and economic development needs of the most severely distressed portions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York. “These projects will have a positive affect on job growth in Maine and help spur additional economic development and investment in our state.”

Details on project investments announced today by the NBRC:

$250,000 grant awarded to the Eastport Port Authority, Eastport, ME

This project, referred to as the Port of Eastport Automated Bulk Materials Handling System, will result in full automation of the Port of Eastport, allowing it to serve the bulk materials market, both in import and export capacities. It will allow for the construction of a mainline 900 foot bi-directional conveyor system, related ship loading equipment and bulk yard receiving and storage facilities on the Port’s existing property. This project will result in the retention of the equivalent of 18 jobs and the creation of 26 new jobs. The total project cost is $8,000,000.

$75,000 grant awarded to Maine Huts and Trails, Kingfield, ME

46f38eeae9518407-Kingfieldcrosscountrysking7Skiing on part of the Maine Huts and Trails path. Photo by Ramona du Houx

This project will complete the construction of 40 miles of trails and bridges, as well as a third hut, near Great Falls on the Dead River, and Route 201 in the Forks. The business plan of the Maine Huts and Trails is to eventually complete a hut and trail system from Moosehead Lake to Bethel, for year round, “people powered” recreation (hiking, groomed cross country skiing, snow-shoeing, canoeing, kayaking, and biking). The total project cost is $200,000

$141,150 grant awarded to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

4419897c3e77f0ef-abovethegravelbarDave Cook wrote Above the Gravel Bar, about Native American canoe routes in Maine. The grant will go to many routes he wrote about. Photo of Dave in an Indian birch bark canoe. Photo by Ramona du Houx

This project is a multi-state initiative, building recreational infrastructure and catalyzing rural economic results along a 740 mile canoe trail in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and therefore has regional significance. The project will complete the construction of nine kiosks, place 28 register boxes in key locations along the trail, complete the GIS mapping of the canoe trail route, and upgrade the organization’s website planner. This project has been identified in the 2010 Commission on Land Conservation Report of the New England Governors Conference. In addition it meets four of the ten “urgent action” recommendations of the Northern Forest Sustainable Economy Initiative report.