General Meeting (Teleconference Meeting)

Friday, February 8, 2008


The Maine Community Development Association held a general membership meeting via teleconference on Friday, February 8, 2008 beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Present were:


Tony Levesque, President                     Town of Fort Fairfield

Jim Gulnac, Vice President                  Town of Sanford

Stephen Dyer, Director                          RansomEnvironmental Consultants, Inc.

Michael Baran                                          DECD – Office of Community Development

Al Smith                                                      City of Bath

Joella R. Theriault, Secretary                Northern Maine Development Commission

Wade Hansen                                          Town of Houlton

Christopher Spruce, Past President    Island Housing Trust

Rodney Lynch, Director                         City of Rockland

Dan LaPointe                                            Town of Van Buren

Suzie Paradis                                             Town of Madawaska


1.            CALL TO ORDER:  T. Levesque called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.


2.            REVIEW OF DECEMBER 14, 2007 MEETING MINUTES:  Moved by J. Gulnac to approve the meeting minutes as presented; seconded by A. Smith.  Motion passed unanimously.


3.            TREASURER’S REPORT:  President Levesque presented the following information:

·        Per Balance Sheet ending 12/31/08 – All bills are paid to date

·        $792 balance in the checking account


Moved by W. Hanson and seconded by S. Dyer to accept the Treasurer’s Report.  Discussion was to table this article until such time as R. Harriman was present.  Moved by D. LaPointe and seconded by J. Gulnac to table the article.  Motion passed unanimously.


4.            CORRESPONDENCE:  President Levesque has a signed copy of the agreement between MCDA and MMA for a total of $1,656 per year.  The agreement includes the cost of maintaining the website. 



*      Membership:  According to Chairman Dyer, there are 15 members paid to date.  Discussion ensued regarding the individual who paid early and as a result paid the old membership rate.  Moved by M. Baran to have President Levesque contact the individual and use his discretion to deal with the matter; seconded by S. Dyer.  Motion passed unanimously.  President Levesque will also check on current memberships.  Discussion on the Plus One proposal. 

*      Professional Development:  Chairman Gulnac reported that the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) requires training and perhaps there could be an opportunity for a joint training session with Maine Association of Planners.

*      Financial:  Tabled

*      Communication:  Chairwoman Walton was not available.  J. Theriault requested newsletter articles be submitted.

*      Advocacy:  Chairman Smith reported on the following L.D.’s:

o LD 677 – That bill was signed.  Resolve 46 directs the State Planning Office, with assistance from the State Fire Marshall’s Office, DECD, and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, to develop a plan for implementing the Maine Model Building Code.  Mandatory training would be required, particularly training of Code Enforcement Officer’s to understand the International Building Codes from an engineering perspective.  LD. 1038 – An Act to License Home Building and Improvement contractors is scheduled for public hearing under the Business, Resource and Economic Development Committee on February 12, 2008.


o LD 262 – According to the Legislature’s Office, nothing has gone forward on this document, but there has been much discussion on LD 2008.


o LD 2008 is an Act to Provide Ongoing Funding for the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.  It is scheduled for public hearing under the Taxation Committee on February 12, 2008.


o LD 1962 – An Act to Amend the Informed Growth – This was voted on February 6, 2008 with an “Ought Not to Pass” vote.  It will be voted again in committee.


o LD 2159 – An Act to Advance the Maine Economy.  The bill creates and provides funding for the Maine Expansion Fund to be administered by DECD.  The maximum award to communities is $200,000.  The bill has been referred to the Business, Research and Economic Development Committee for a public hearing on February 12, 2008.


o Maine Downtown Center – President Levesque received correspondence regarding financial support toward the Maine Downtown Center.


o Governor’s Council on Maine Quality of Place – The governor’s regional development strategy establishes 15 recommendations, one of which is to take funding from state agencies and make them available to regional organizations. 




*      Nominations:  President Levesque urged all MCDA members to encourage one new member to join this year.




*      The governor is proposing a 2007-2008 budget curtailment of spending in the amount of $37,000,000+, which includes a cut in the DECD budget of $500,000.  Orman Whitcomb has been asked to work through OCD’s budget.  MSHA is again looking at taking over the CDBG program.


*      The 2008 CDBG budget has changed.  The final budget is $12,690,754, down from the anticipated $13,082,613.  This means that programs have been cut back somewhat.  The 2009 budget is anticipating a 30% cut, which means a budget of under $9,000,000.  HUD is also looking at restructuring the program from a current 70:30 split to an 80:20 split.  This means that entitlement cities would receive 80% of the CDBG funds and states would receive only 20%.  Orman Whitcomb is assembling figures that will show the negative impact on communities.


*      There were a total of 14 Public Infrastructure applications and 11 Public Facility applications submitted.  OCD is reviewing these applications and hopes to make the announcements by the published timeframe.


*      Regarding the Maine Investment Trust Fund (MITF), M. Baran reported that the program application should be available within 2-3 weeks.  The bond is $1.5 million.  DECD will do a mailing to service center communities.  This program carries a dollar-for-dollar match.  CDBG funds can be used as a match. 


*      The Maine Riverfront Development bond is a $5,000,000 bond for doing a broad array of things along Maine Rivers.  The rules and regulations are nearly completed.  The MRD committee will be made up of representatives from the Department of Conservation, State Planning Office, DECD, two members from the Speaker of the House and two from the President of the Senate.  The Committee makes the decision on grant approval.  M. Baran will e-mail a listing of committee members to MCDA members.


7.      DISCUSSION ON TRAINING NEEDS/CERTIFICATION CREDITS:  President Levesque asked for comments on training needs.  Offering training or certification workshops will augment MCDA’s revenue.  Possible joint sessions with Coastal Enterprise Inc., Maine State Housing Technical Assistance, Grant Writers Association, etc. to offer a grant writing workshop may be a good choice.  Possible workshop topics:  (1)  Construction Management and (2) Fair Housing.


8.      UPDATE ON LUCERNE INN:  The MCDA/OCD retreat will be held at the Lucerne Inn on April 24 and 25.  Hotel costs will be covered by DECD for up to 20 MCDA members.  Anyone interested in attending should sign up as soon as possible.  It was discussed that priority should be given to those members that are most active.


9.      REPORT ON MMA CONVENTION PLANS:  The MMA meeting scheduled for February 1 was postponed until March 7.  Discussion on the MMA Convention was tabled.


10. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Discussion on the Brochure.  J. Theriault will submit the revised brochure as soon as possible.



Moved by J. Gulnac and seconded by M. Baran to adjourn.  Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. 




Submitted by:




Joella R. Theriault