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Community Resilience Partnership
Community Action Grant
The Governor’s Office of Policy and Innovation and the Future has announced a new grant program with two grant cycles anticipated in 2022 and again in 2023, with deadlines on March 22, 2022 and in September. The grants are for municipalities to complete projects that reduce energy use and costs, transition to clean energy, and make communities in Maine more resilient to climate change. A list of project examples can be found below.
In order to apply to the grant program, a community must first complete a 3-step enrollment process which consists of:
1. Passing a resolution by municipal officials, see sample resolution
2. Complete the Community Resilience Self-Evaluation and review the List of Project Examples to asses existing progress and identify potential next steps
3. Hold a public workshop(s) to review the self-assessments results and prioritize projects for funding.
Once a municipality has completed the enrollment process, it can apply for grant funding for projects from the prioritized funding list it made in step 3 above. Here is the RFP and the grant application.
Help is Available
If your municipality is interested in this program, but wants help completing the self-evaluation (step 2) and the public workshop to develop the prioritized project list (step 3) there may be an opportunity for AVCOG to help you with the process.
GOPIF has announced a Service Provider Grant which AVCOG plans to apply for. This grant would allow us to assist between 2-5 communities with their enrollment process at a time. The first grant round is due on February 15, 2022 with a second grant round (another 2-5 communities can participate) due in August, 2022. If you are interested in this help, please let us know as soon as possible.
For more information, visit the state’s website (link to https://www.maine.gov/future/climate/community-resilience-partnership) or contact Yvette Meunier via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Androscoggin Valley Municipal Solar Forum
On Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) hosted an online forum about municipal solar in Maine.
Chris Byers - Boyle and Associates
Andrew Kahrl - Revision Energy
Nick Lund - Maine Audubon
Todd Martin - Natural Resources Council of Maine
Joe Roach - Rangeley Town Manager
Click here to watch a recording of the forum.
In the 129th Legislative Session, Public Law 391 was revised (LD 1509). This makes MUBEC apply state-wide regardless of population. This took effect September 19, 2019. AVCOG has been trying to get clarification from the State Fire Marshal’s Office (and presumably the AG’s Office) on conflicting advice received from MMA and the Fire Marshal’s Office. Unfortunately clarification is still not available as we head into town meeting season. What we do know is that MUBEC now applies to towns less than 4,000 in population, however, enforcement is still optional in those municipalities. Builders must build to this code state-wide. Municipalities under 4,000 can choose to enforce the code, and if they want to they can choose to do so completely (building and energy) or just building or just energy. They can also choose whether inspections are to be done in-house or third party. Code Officers that are going to do these inspections will need to be certified.
A town many not adopt or enforce any other building code than the Maine Uniform Building Code, the Maine Uniform Energy Code, or the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code. This means that a town that does not choose to enforce the Maine Building or Energy Codes needs to delete references to a town building permit and issue a land use or zoning permit instead. If not enforcing MUBEC then a permit is only being issued based on location, dimensional and zoning requirements, and so forth, not construction. It would be misleading to call this permit a building permit. We recommend that any permit and/or application also include language that the design and construction are required to meet MUBEC standards but the town does not inspect or enforce these requirements, or other similar language that makes it clear what is required and that the town permit does not indicate compliance with these requirements.
A town that wants to enforce MUBEC is being advised to adopt it by reference, and state the town’s intent to enforce and extent of enforcement such as energy only, building only, both, etc. Please refer to 30-A M.R.S. Section 3003(2) for guidance on adoption of codes by reference. http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/30-A/title30-Asec3003.html
For MMA members, their website has a sample ordinance for adopting a code by reference as well. Log in and then go to “Member Center,” then Ordinances and Charters, then Ordinances, then Building, then “adopting_code.”
We expect this will raise more questions, among them, can a Code Officer enforce MUBEC while in the process of getting certified or is third-party certification required in the meantime? The State Fire Marshal’s Office now handles Code Enforcement Officer certification, please contact Rich McCarthy for more information on this issue, or see their website: https://www.maine.gov/dps/fmo/building-codes/code-enforcement