GrowSmart Maine Falters
GrowSmart Maine began with a mission to center growth in Maine’s downtown areas, reduce sprawl, encourage development and protect the so-called Maine brand. In 2008 it helped sponsor a Brookings Institute Report, “Charting Maine’s Future,” a tool for highlighting areas for growth and development. Now the nonprofit, in the midst of advocating for LD 775, "The Communities for Maine’s Future Fund," seeks its own level of immediate funding from donors. MaineBiz.biz reports the organization needs some $60,000 to bridge a budget shortfall. In the meantime, the group is advocating before lawmakers to include LD 775 in the upcoming bond package. The proposed bond would encourage investments in downtown and traditional village center infrastructure and seeks at least $20 million in state funds. The proposal would includes a revolving fund for endangered historic buildings central to downtown or village areas.