Friday, April 1, 2005



The Maine Community Development Association held a meeting at the Department of Economic and Community Development Conference Room in Augusta on Friday, April 1, 2005 at approximately 9:00 a.m.  See attached Attendance List.




Ron Harriman gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:       


      Income This Month:      $    3.00                                   Year-To-Date Income:  $2,209.00

      Expenses This Month    $716.00                                   Year-To-Date Expense:$   989.00

      Net                              (713.00)                                                                         $1,220.00


      Fund Balance as of 03/31/05:   $12,082





ü      The House and the Senate both passed resolutions to keep the CDBG program.  One resolution did not include the budget and the other resolution included $2,000,000,000 less than the FY2005 budget.


ü      The initial proposed program for FY2006 is split into two sections:  1) Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative (SAC) and 2) Economic Development Challenge Grant.


ü      SAC is further subdivided into two groups; entitlements and states based on poverty.  But now they are looking at subdividing into three groups; entitlements, states, and Native American tribes.


ü      Allocated for the State of Maine is approximately $5-$6 million dollars, which is what was allocated in FY2004.


ü      According to Orman Whitcomb, Program Manager, at DECD, the CDBG program for next year will take a terrible hit no matter what happens with the program.  DECD may decide to run the FY2006 program through using the same regulations and guidelines that were established under the FY2005 program.  Orman advised that should the funding remain under the Department of HUD, reported measures would need to be changed, which means that the State would require reporting changes in the CDBG program.


ü      When discussing the repooling of CDBG funds at the end of each fiscal year, similar to the practice that USDA uses, Orman responded that some states have more than two times their funding allocations unexpended.  While HUD does have provisions in the law that can repool these funds if not expended, they do not enforce this law. 

ü      Regarding the MITF, Orman stated that DECD was making some progress on this project.  They will hold a work session sometime next week.


ü      Housing authority representatives from Maine met with the New England Authority and reported back that support from New Hampshire was poor.


ü      Al Smith talked about the Kennebec Valley Organization Sponsoring Committee (KVOSC)’s invitation to attend a New England Joint Action Assembly on Saturday, May 21 in Manchester, NH.  The New England-wide coalition have joined in a campaign to protect funding in this year’s US federal budget for Section 8 Housing Vouchers, Community Development Block Grants (CBDG), Pell Grants and Adult Basic Education (ABE).


ü      Cindy Carney urged everyone to sign on to the letter from the New England Housing Network.  The letter to the congressional delegation urges them to oppose the proposal in the Administration’s FY2006 budget regarding the consolidation and/or elimination of important housing and economic and development programs.  The letter also opposes the moving of programs from HUD to the Department of Commerce.




Following a discussion regarding continued support for the CDBG program, Mike Bush moved to hire Frank O’Hara for an amount up to $3,000 to prepare two documents regarding MCDA’s support for the CDBG program to be presented to our congressional delegation; 1) being a summary document and 2) being a thorough narrative on the benefits of the CDBG program in Maine.  The motion was seconded by Joella McBreairty.  Motion passed.  Mathew Eddy, Orman Whitcomb, Peter Lyford, Mike Bush, Ryan Pelletier, Joella McBreairty, and Mary Walton all volunteered to work with MCDA and Frank O’Hara on this project.




Ryan Pelletier, Town Manager of St. Agatha, requested MCDA’s financial assistance in an amount of $1,500 to hire Peter Lyford as the grant writer for the application to be submitted under the USDA Rural Housing and Economic Development program.  DECD will act as the applicant on behalf of the Northern Aroostook Wells and Septic Project (NAWSP).  The application will be submitted by May 17, 2005 to help match existing CDBG funds.  Under NAWSP, the lead community of St. Agatha proposes to undertake housing replacement throughout 33 communities in Northern Aroostook County.  Al Smith moved to provide $1,500 to the NAWSP Committee; seconded by Don Keiser.  The motion passed. 


Discussion:  Ron Harriman, Treasurer, is concerned that we have authorized up to $3,000 to hire Frank O’Hara and provided another $1,500 to NAWSP for their project, and feels that MCDA should be cautious with depleting the fund balance.  Cindy Carney and Matt Eddy stated that in the future funding for these types of project should be sought from other agencies; i.e. MSHA or the Maine Community Foundation.  A policy regarding future similar requests for funding should be developed by MCDA as soon as possible. 




The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 13 in the Ellsworth/Belfast area.  The topic of discussion for this meeting is the Maine Building Officials and Inspectors Association (MBOIA) adoption of a model building code.  A suggestion for the June 10 meeting in Fort Fairfield is a tour of the Loring facilities.  Matt will be in touch with Tony Levesque regarding the Fort Fairfield trip.


The meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.



Respectfully submitted by,




Joella R. McBreairty