Belfast salmon farm not a done deal

A proposed $150 million salmon farm to be built by Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast will only happen if there is enough fresh water and the Norwegian developer behind the project can get the appropriate federal, state and local permits, company representatives said this week. Against the backdrop of that caveat, representatives held a public information meeting at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center to share plans for the facility and field questions from residents and community members, who were happy to

Source: Republican Journal

Portland properties may be added to waterfront TIF

Waterfront development plans and the accompanying infrastructure could benefit if two properties are added to a tax increment financing district.On March 5, the City Council is expected to vote on adding the future WEX headquarters at Thames and Hancock streets, and three properties on Union Wharf, 230 Commercial St., to the Waterfront TIF district. The order had a first reading at the Feb. 21 council meeting.

“The added TIF districts would produce an estimated $495,000 annually, over and above the current estimated annual TIF proceeds at $540,000,” according to a Feb. 7 memo by City Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell.Mitchell said Feb. 21 the additions to the TIF zone, created in 2002, do not include credit enhancement agreements that would return any tax revenues to developers.

TIFs allow a municipality to set aside increases in tax revenues for specific uses. Funds captured in the TIF can be used for projects that include pier and wharf improvements, street work and dredging.

Source: The Forecaster

Beech trees overtaking Maine forests, worrying loggers and scientists 

Beech trees are dominating the woodlands of the northeastern United States as the climate changes, and that could be bad news for the forests and people who work in them, according to a group of scientists. The scientists say the move toward beech-heavy forests is associated with higher temperatures and precipitation. They say their 30-year study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Applied Ecology, is one of the first to look at such broad changes over a long time period in the northeastern U.S. and

Source: BDN Maine

Two Maine Housing Authorities Get More Than $450k To Help Residents

Two housing authorities in Maine will receive more than $450,000 from the federal government to improve opportunities for residents.Republican Sen. Susan Collins says the money is going to the Portland Housing Authority and Lewiston Housing Authority from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency grant program.

Source:  Maine Public

Can Blue Hill be saved by a Main St. program?

Under the auspices of the Maine Development Foundation, Main Street Maine Communities and Maine Downtown Network Communities exist across the state, some with paid staff and others with volunteer labor, but all following a four-point program aimed at creating vibrant, healthy downtowns. Anne Ball, the state’s program director, spoke about the program alongside staff from Main Street programs in Bucksport, Belfast and Rockland. Each program exists independently, but all receive support, resources and training from the Maine Downtown program, which promotes economic development and historic preservation.

Source: Penobscot Bay Press

Trump budget would kill funds for many programs in Maine

President Trump released a proposed budget for the next fiscal year Monday that if enacted would have serious consequences across Maine. The sweeping plan again proposes to eliminate the programs that provide heating oil to low-income Mainers, legal aid to indigent citizens, and grants to towns and cities to rehabilitate housing, infrastructure, and services. It also would stop federal funding for Maine Public’s television and radio outlets, the University of Maine’s Sea Grant research program, and the Wel

Source: Portland Press Herald