10/11/2018 - Convention Presentations Going Up
While it’s never the same as being there, Power Point and written presentations used last week at the Maine Municipal Association 2018 Convention are being entered daily onto our website (see convention graphic and “Presentations,” left). Topics covered range from seniors’ property liens to solar power to dealing with cyber-attacks.
09/28/2018 - Elderly Tax Lien Foreclosure Legislation
Earlier this week, Governor LePage signed LD 1629 (PL 2017 c. 478), entitled “An Act To Protect Homeowners Affected by Tax Lien Foreclosure.” This legislation will impose additional notice requirements during the real estate tax lien process. The legislation also will establish new requirements for sale of tax acquired property previously owned by elderly taxpayers meeting certain income guidelines. Please note that this legislation becomes effective on Dec. 13, 2018 – not before. MMA’s Legal Services staff is currently analyzing the law’s requirements and expects to publish guidance and sample forms prior to the effective date of the legislation. Please stay tuned for updates on our website and via email.
09/25/2018 - Maine Timber Event
The University of Maine is among the organizers of the annual Maine Mass Timber Event, which will be held on Oct. 11 in Orono. Building codes, the state of the timber industry and timber sustainability are all on the agenda of the one-day event.
09/10/2018 - Grow Smart Maine Summit in Bangor
Grow Smart Maine will hold its biggest annual event at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Thursday, Oct. 11. The conference will feature many of the ways that the City of Bangor is rejuvenating itself, including along its waterfront and downtown. A question and answer session with the 2018 Gubernatorial candidates is also planned.
09/04/2018 - Tourism Planning Survey
The Maine Office of Tourism is developing a five-year strategic plan to help grow this important industry, and municipal input is sought. The deadline to complete the survey is coming right up: This Friday, Sept. 7.
08/30/2018 - General Assistance Maximums
The state Department of Health & Human Services has released its anticipated “General Assistance Maximums,” which are produced to help municipalities administer general assistance programs. All municipalities must annually adopt the most recent maximum assistance numbers issued by DHHS before Oct. 1. This is accomplished by amending the municipal GA ordinance to replace existing appendices with the updated versions. State law also requires that municipalities notify DHHS once the local ordinances are updated.
08/24/2018 - Municipal Energy Efficiency
A Westbrook-based organization called the Maine Climate Table is inviting municipal officials to attend a meeting on municipal energy efficiency at Coastal Enterprises Inc. in Brunswick, on Sept. 25.
08/22/2018 - Effective Date of New Medical Marijuana Laws
It seems there may be some confusion about the effective date of LD 1539, the recent sweeping overhaul of Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Contrary to popular belief, this legislation will NOT take effect this October. It is not likely to become effective until much later this year, if not early 2019. MMA Legal Services explains.
08/20/2018 - New Sample Medical Marijuana Moratorium Available
MMA’s Legal Services staff has updated our sample Medical Marijuana Retail Store Moratorium Ordinance.
In addition to registered caregiver retail stores, this updated version temporarily prohibits the licensing, location, and operation of new medical marijuana registered dispensaries, testing facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Given the volume of questions we have received recently about proposals for these other types of medical marijuana establishments within municipalities, we thought that an expanded moratorium ordinance was warranted. Of course, municipalities may tailor this sample to address the type or types of establishments of particular interest to them.
08/06/2018 - USDA Seeks Broadband Comments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments about its planned $600 million rural broadband program, which was recently created by Congress. The result will be a one-time application process and grant program for communities with 20,000 residents or less. The comment period will end on Sept. 10.