Bangor, ME

Friday News Wrap Up

The Maine Writer
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Another utility is requesting a rate increase

Versant has requested a distribution rate increase from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Versant says the rate increase will amount to an increase of $12 per month on a customer's bill which will allow Versant an additional $34 million in annual revenue.

Versant said they plan to use the money towards a new metering system, reliability improvements, enhanced customer service, employee retention, and addressing industry-wide inflationary changes. If the rate increase is granted it will go into effect in July of 2023.

The city of Bangor to Clean Up Tent Cities

The City of Bangor is making plans to clean up two of the large homeless encampments in town. The Executive Director of the Bangor Homeless Shelter said it is the biggest homeless population he has seen in his six years in the role of Executive Director. The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter Warming Center is also looking for items such as winter hats, winter gloves, etc. with winter coming. You can donate through their Walmart Registry for Good here.

New two-year pilot program announced by Governor Mills

The "Respite for ME" program will start on October 3rd and will have $5.1 million in funding available for grants of up to $2,000 for families caring for a family member with dementia or a disability. Family caregivers will be able to use the grant to access respite care, and they will also be able to receive counseling and training, legal and financial guidance, and more. The caregiver must be an adult and not be receiving payment for the care being provided to qualify for the grant.

Maine Housing no longer accepting new emergency rental assistance applications

Maine Housing has stopped taking new applications for the emergency rental assistance program while they wait to hear if the request for more funding from the federal government is approved. There was an increase in demand for the program over the last few weeks and funds are limited. The program started in March 2021 and has helped nearly 34,000 Maine households with the program paying out $275 million. The program helps Maine residents who needed help to pay their rent or utility bills and puts those without a place to stay in hotel rooms.

Thrive Maine Announced by Governor Mills

Governor Mills has announced a new plan with $58 million in funding that is part of her Maine Jobs and Recovery Program. This plan will help small businesses recover from the pandemic. Starting on October 4th the Finance Authority of Maine will start taking applications for forgivable small business loans through the "Thrive Maine" program.

Eligible businesses qualify if they are small businesses and they experienced increased costs, market interruptions, or losses due to the pandemic. If selected the business will receive up to a $2 million forgivable loan. Once awarded the loan the business will need to follow the terms of the program for a four-year period to have the loan forgiven. You can submit your application online on October 4th here.

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I'm a Mainer that enjoys writing about current news events along with news from my state of Maine. I am always looking for stories to tell, email me anytime @ TheMaineWriter with any news you feel should be looked into/mentioned, news going on in your town/city, community issues that need to be mentioned etc. Not only that, but I would especially like to hear more about veterans' events and stories in your communities so I can write more stories about the issues facing veterans. I always provide no spin, facts only journalism-- guaranteed.

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