Pingree Secures Millions for 10 Maine Projects in FY22 Appropriations Bill
The Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill allows Congress to directly fund projects for the first time since 2011 in the form of Community Project Funding
Washington, March 9, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC—With the House passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill tonight, Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) secured millions of dollars in funding for ten Maine community projects.
“In addition to long-overdue investments to protect human health, fight the climate emergency, and meet our trust obligations to tribal nations, the Appropriations Bill for FY22 directly funds projects that enrich our communities for the first time in more than a decade,” said Pingree. “Through my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I fought to secure funding for these ten Maine projects, and I’m thrilled they were all included in the final bill. From projects focused on climate action and supporting Maine’s lobster fishery, to community health and resource programs, this funding prioritizes widely supported projects that make the biggest difference in the lives of Mainers.”
Click here to watch a video message from Pingree on the community funded projects for Maine.
Community Funded Projects Pingree secured in the FY22 Appropriations Bill include:
Recipient: 4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations, DBA Maine 4-H Foundation, Orono, ME
Amount Funded: $450,000
Description: This funding will allow Maine 4-H Foundation to purchase the Magic Lantern Theater in Bridgton, ME, keep it operating as a theater and pub, and transform it into an Innovation Lab and Learning Center. By continuing to operate, the Magic Lantern will generate funding to support the Innovation Lab and Learning Center programming. The goals of the Center include engaging 3,000 – 4,000 students annually for STEAM activities, raising student performance in Bridgton and surrounding Cumberland and Oxford county communities, and creating stronger economic development conditions for companies and organizations that need talented employees. While Maine 4-H operates a number of learning centers across Maine, Bridgton and its surrounding communities do not currently have a resource like this for the students that this Center will serve.
Recipient: University of Maine, Orono, ME
Amount Funded: $990,000
Description: The Maine Climate Coordination Center (MC3) will serve as the coordination hub called for in the state’s Climate Action Plan and will support implementation of key strategies outlined in the plan. UMaine is already a hub of activity for solutions aligned with the challenges outlined in the plan, and MC3 will develop connections, coordination, and communication to bring the plan to life by leveraging the new and ongoing work of plan implementation taking place throughout UMaine and agencies, NGOs, communities, companies, and individuals throughout the state. Timely action is required to avoid the worst of the anticipated effects of climate change and the dire consequences for the state’s natural resource economy, for the broader tourism and recreation economy, and for all Maine people’s health and livelihoods. This hub would provide the needed structure to implement the Climate Action Plan’s goals and serve as a model for effective climate coordination and response that could be duplicated in other states.
Recipient: Maine Department of Marine Resources, Augusta, ME
Amount Funded: $765,000
Description: With this funding, DMR would develop an extensive outreach and education strategy to engage fishermen and develop common understanding across Maine’s lobster industry about the status of right whales and new regulations from NOAA. Facilitated discussions will inform the development of principles to guide future management actions that will be initiated to meet risk reduction targets of the Conservation Framework. The Maine lobster fishery provides $1.5B in revenue to the state through its direct supply chain, and thousands of jobs. Over the next decade, regulatory actions to protect right whales are going to require the fishery to significantly change its operations. These changes are expected to have far-reaching impacts throughout the supply chain and related shoreside industries, as well as coastal communities. Planning for the future of this fishery is critical to the economic survival and resilience of Maine’s coastal economy.
Recipient: Town of Vinalhaven, Vinalhaven, ME
Amount Funded: $1,410,000
Description: This funding would be used for the STAG-eligible components of Vinalhaven’s Downtown Project, to include: upgrading stormwater infrastructure and renovating and improving the sewer system along Main Street to prevent flooding of businesses, street, and parking areas, as well as addressing critical upgrades and resilience adaptations to the wastewater treatment system. These actions would bolster the long-term resilience of Maine’s largest inhabited year round island community and protect Vinalhaven’s economic foundation and marine and tourism industries.
Recipient: Milestone Recovery, Portland, ME
Amount Funded: $690,000
Description: This funding will support Milestone’s substance use services, including the expansion of its inpatient medical detoxification program and the establishment of an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Milestone operates the only detox program in Maine’s First District that admits clients who are uninsured or underinsured, and must often turn away dozens of clients a day. The IOP would further help to serve clients who are unable to access detox and provide long-term recovery support care for those who need it after completing detox.
Recipient: Harry E. Davis Partnership for Children’s Oral Health, Yarmouth, Maine
Amount Funded: $650,000
Description: This funding would launch a network of Virtual Dental Homes, a community-based oral health care delivery system in which children become established patients with a dental practice but receive their preventive care and early intervention in school and primary care settings without having to travel to the dental office for appointments unless they need more complex treatment.
Recipient: City of Augusta, ME
Amount Funded: $265,000
Description: This funding would establish a pilot program to connect people with immediate substance use disorder treatment resources and support their reintegration into the community after treatment. Modeled on successful projects elsewhere in Maine, Project Recovery uses a unified approach to recovery that will draw on the public health focus of the City of Augusta Fire/EMT Department to leverage resources in harm reduction and treatment as well as job training and placement, housing, and other forms of critical support.
Recipient: York County Shelter Programs, Inc. Alfred, ME
Amount Funded: $325,000
Description: This funding will allow York County Shelter Programs to purchase and rehabilitate a property that is centrally located in Sanford to use as a one-stop Community Resource Center. The site will provide meals for over 3,000 low-income and food insecure households each month, financial counseling services and eviction prevention for over 300 households per month, application assistance for mainstream resources for over 100 households per month, community AA and NA meetings that will support the large number of community residents in recovery, community policing resources that will bring more outreach and security to the community, community coordination of resources for more than 50 homeless households per month, and vocational training programs that will improve employment opportunities for dozens of trainees each year.
Recipient: The Committee to Restore the Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland, ME
Amount Funded: $1,700,000
Description: Funding will support the final phase of restoration, historic preservation, and maintenance of the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland, the first site in Maine to be designated by the National Park Service as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Funds will also preserve and promote the cultural heritage of African-Americans in Maine. This final restoration phase will include the design and construction of the building’s interior, including design and installation of the museum exhibit space; building mechanicals, plumbing, HVAC, and other utilities; office, community, conference, and educational space; technology for onsite and distance live-streaming program collaboration; and ADA compliance. Planned community education programming, exhibitions, and humanities endeavors rely on the historic restoration of the building's interior.
Recipient: Eastern Trail Management District, Saco, ME
Amount Funded: $700,000
Description: Funding will support the engineering design of an 11-mile section of planned multi-use recreation trail and active transportation corridor between Kennebunk, Wells, and North Berwick. The proposed project will support the development of an active transportation corridor and recreational trail that offers significant social, economic and environmental benefits. In 2018, the existing 22 miles of off-road trail from South Portland to Kennebunk had 250,000 users and provided millions of dollars in local community investment.
In 2021, the House Appropriations Committee revitalized Community Project Funding after the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress found that congressionally-directed spending boosted bipartisanship, facilitated member-to-member cooperation, and gave members an equal stake in the success of appropriations bills.
Each member is permitted to submit ten projects for consideration which all must be thoroughly vetted and publicly disclosed on their website.
Pingree has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee since 2013 and has served as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies since January 2021.