By Chris Bouchard
CARIBOU — Representatives of the Northern Maine Development Commission discussed community dues, revenue statements, the Venture Development Organization, and more during their board meeting recent..
Alain Ouellette, director of planning and development, discussed the Venture Development Organization with directors.
“I’ve been asked to present on this seed fund support cluster grant, which is an application that we are currently working on,” said Ouellette. “Some of you remember some of the work that was done a couple years ago regarding the development of a Venture Development Organization. The SFS grant objective is to provide funding to support the feasibility and launch of the cluster based seed capital fund.
“Our objective is to assist innovative Aroostook and Washington County entrepreneurs. No good project will be taken away from consideration. The goal is to address regional resource shortage and investor preferences. What that means is that any barrier that stands in the way of the young or older entrepreneur wanting to expand needs to have a path forward. We want to make sure that those paths are clear and obtainable. We also want to give access to best practices to create solid performing companies. We want to assure success. We are going to be applying for $150,000 from EDA, and matching that one-to-one,” Ouellette said.
The NMDC board endorsed the proposal and authorized the executive director to execute all necessary documents related to the matter.
Mary Dahlgren, business finance assistant at NMDC, presented the revenue and expenditure statements for the period ending Aug. 31st during the Sept. 17 meeting.
“The benchmark for the period of August 31st is 16.7 percent,” said Dahlgren. “The following revenues have a 10 percent variance above or below the benchmark for the period. Contract services is at 51.48 percent. This includes $27,172.50 from the rest area maintenance contract. We haven’t generated any income from fees for service and packaging in the months of July and August.
“Other income is at 4.25 percent. We have $2,145 from the sale of equipment and furniture, $155 from copying services, and $1,215.40 in the reserve account. NMDC cash contributions is at 62.77 percent. The EPA grants do not allow repayment for indirect costs, so we have to contribute that cost to those grants. Income is at 1.63 percent. The total revenues thus far are $672,441.35 or 15.3 percent, which is 1.32 percentage points below our benchmark of 16.7percent,” she added.
NMDC Executive Director Robert Clark presented an assessment of county and community dues. Clark showed the board a slide containing statistics regarding these dues. According to their findings, the largest increase percentage is Glenwood Plantation by 4.43 percent. Nashville Plantation has the largest decrease at 13.37 percent. The largest monetary increase is unorganized townships at $276.69 while the largest monetary decrease is Caribou at $263.52. The total community dues are $150,962. Total county dues are at $32,927, and the total dues assessments are $183,889.