Monday, August 25, 2008

Tap Water Not Bottled Water Says Portland

Maine Video Activist Network Production
Take Back the Tap Initiative
August 20, 2008



WHEREAS, many of our nation's water pipes and sewers were installed in the early part of the 20th century, some as far back as the Civil War; and

WHEREAS, as water systems age and population grows, more and more leaks develop and sewage overflows into our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean, creating serious public health hazards; and

WHEREAS, public health agencies issued more than 20,000 warnings against swimming at beaches on U.S. coasts in 2005, and a majority of beach closings are due to sewage overflows and malfunctioning sewage plants; and

WHEREAS, the National Research Council recently warned that we should expect more water-borne disease outbreaks if there are not "substantial investments" made to improve our water pipes and systems; and

WHEREAS, there is currently a shortfall of more than $22 billion per year between the funds available and what is needed to keep water safe for human and environmental health; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has cut the main source of funding for clean water year after year; and

WHEREAS, the spirit of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act are threatened by lack of funding for water infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, according to a recent poll, nine out of ten Americans believe that clean and safe water is a national priority that deserves federal investment; and

WHEREAS, there are federal trust funds for other major national investment needs like highways and airports, yet the federal government has yet to establish a trust fund to protect something all people need to survive: water; and

WHEREAS, Water is a public trust and it's time for a trust fund that protects our water and keeps it clean and safe;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland, Maine endorses a trust fund for clean and safe water based on the following principles:

* Pollution prevention and drinking water source protection;

* Water conservation by the largest water users, including agriculture and industry;

* Public participation and accountability for public officials;

* Access to affordable water;

* Public funds for public utilities;

* Environmentally sound use of our water resources; a trust fund will not subsidize


* Developing and implementing innovative, environmentally sustainable infrastructure,

appropriate for local conditions; and

* Appropriate fees for industries that pollute our water.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution shall be sent to each of the members of the Maine Congressional delegation.

Monday, August 18, 2008

CDBG Annual Allocation Committee

The City of Portland receives approximately $2.1 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) each year. The three primary objectives of the CDBG program are 1) activities that benefit low to moderate income persons, 2) activities to prevent or eliminate slum or blighted areas, or 3) activities meeting an urgent community development need.

The City of Portland is looking for a diverse group of fair minded and analytical individuals to serve on the Annual Allocation Committee. The Committee will be expected to thoroughly review and score each funding application based upon identified priorities and agreed upon scoring criteria. As a result of deliberation and scoring, the committee will make recommendations for resource allocations to the City Manager and to the City Council, both in writing and in person at a scheduled Council Meeting. This committee replaces the traditional role of the City Manager's Policy Advisory Committee (CMPAC).

The CDBG program has traditionally funded public infrastructure improvements to city parks, sidewalks, and sewers, housing rehabilitation or home-buying programs, energy efficiency programs, building inspections, historic preservation, planning, economic development, rehabilitation of buildings for non-profit organizations, and social services programs.

You are probably familiar with some of the projects and programs that have been funded with CDBG in the City of Portland, including: Deering Oaks... Eastern & Western Promenade ... playgrounds at Reiche and East End Community School ... Portland Observatory ... Maine Irish Heritage Center and St. Lawrence Performing Arts Center ... soup kitchens ... shelters ... youth programs ... day care providers ... elder programs ... neighborhood services, plus many more.

The Committee will be established in the Fall of 2008 and begin reviewing applications in January 2009. Recommendations will go to the City Manager at the end of February and be presented to the City Council in March 2009.

There are seven positions available, members will be appointed to one to three year terms.

Additional information is available in the City Clerk's office, on the City's website at or at 874-8677. Deadline for submissions August 29, 2008. Please send a resume and cover letter to Appointments Committee Chairman, c/o Linda C. Cohen, City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101 or Applicants will be contacted for interviews.

~Feel free to forward this email or post the attachment.~

For more information about the CDBG Program go to:

For more information about the CDBG Priority Task Force go to:

For more information about the HCD Task Force go to:

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

I apologize if you receive this more than once.

Amy Grommes Pulaski
Housing & Community Development Program Manager
389 Congress St. Rm 312
Portland, ME 04101
207.874.8731 phone
207.874-8949 fax

View District Two: A Work in Progress in a larger map