Planning & Development News

MCLP - Summer 2023 Update


August 2, 2023

By: Emily Reed, Summer Government Intern 2023, Muskie School of Public Policy 


In May 2022, Bath Development Corporation identified a need for a business loan program to support Bath-based businesses start and grow. This sparked the idea for the Micro Capital Loan Program which provides loans up to $7,500 for local businesses. This loan was designed to increase positive economic development in Bath, both with new and existing businesses. The loans are low-interest rates (current short-term adjusted applicable Federal Rate) for one-time capital costs. Since the start of the program, BDC has successfully been able to give out loans to four organizations: Maine’s First Ship, OystHERS Raw Bar and Bubbly, Soft Corner Midwifery, and Long Reach Painting Company. 


Each business has different needs the loan was able to meet. Soft Corner Midwifery used their BDC loan for desperately needed small medical equipment. OystHERS Raw Bar and Bubbly put their loan towards a glass cleaner and part of the ice machine they purchased. Long Reach Painting Company used the loan to purchase large equipment materials. Maine’s First Ship put the funds towards dock replacement materials.

Bath Development Corporation is looking forwards to supporting more Bath-based businesses over the next year and beyond. To learn more and read program success stories use this link: 

City of Bath, Maine - Micro Capital Loan Program


2023 CDBG Statement Released


The Maine Department of Community and Economic Development has released their 2023 CDBG Program Statement. 

The program statement can be found online here

The City is able to partner with local nonprofits and businesses to apply for CDBG funding for specific projects and initiatives in Bath.

For more information or to discuss a potential project, please contact Emily Ruger, Director of Economic & Community Development at eruger@cityofbath.com or (207) 443-8330. 



Vulnerability Assessment & Climate Adaptation Strategies


The City is seeking proposals from qualified environmental consultants (hereinafter to provide professional services to perform a vulnerability assessment and develop climate adaptation strategies. The City has recently adopted a climate action resolution and continues to support climate action activities. This project will help to fulfill these goals by identifying the parts of our community most vulnerable to climate change and developing strategies for adaptation.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Request for Proposals: Brownfields Assessments


RFP has been issued to determine the eligibility and capacity of responding individuals or organizations to develop, implement, and manage the City of Bath's Brownfields Environmental Site Assessment Program. The RFP and attached exhibits describe the terms and conditions under which the City will select a Qualified Environmental Professional.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: 4:00 PM, July 29, 2022

Request for Proposals

EPA Project Narrative


City Awarded $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant


The City of Bath was awarded a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant from the EPA on Monday as part of a record $24.2 million investment in Brownfields’ work in the state. These grant dollars will help facilitate the clean up of hazardous materials and petroleum from sites around the City for future redevelopment. Click here to learn more.



Bath City Council Approves Second Economic Relief Loan Program for Small Businesses


BATH, Maine (January 27, 2020) – The City of Bath will offer a second round of one-time loans through its Economic Relief Bridge Program, an initiative which provided $300,000 in loans to 39 small Bath businesses in 2020. This year’s program was recommended by the City’s Economic Development Committee in response to immediate needs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021, and funding was approved by City Council.

The 2021 loans, funded through the Bath Iron Works TIF District, will offer up to $5,000 for small businesses in Bath, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis with program funding up to $200,000.

The terms of the loan are two years, zero-interest, with deferred payments for the first 12 months. The loans may be forgiven as long as the loan proceeds are used to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs in 2021; and employee and compensation levels are maintained or are returned to levels (as of Feb. 29, 2020), on or before December 31, 2021. 

Applications and guidelines for the Economic Relief Bridge Loan Program may be obtained from the City Manager’s Office or on the City of Bath website (https://www.cityofbathmaine.gov/COVID-19EconomicRelief). A rolling application period will begin February 1, 2021. Applications will be reviewed and approved for funding by the City’s Economic Development staff. The City of Bath reserves the right to accept or reject any applications. Questions may be directed to Assistant City Manager Marc Meyers at mmeyers@cityofbath.com.


Community Development Block Grant Statement Now Available


The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development recently released its 2021 program statement for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Each year the State of Maine receives a formula allocation of funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to be distributed to eligible Maine communities under the Community Development Block Grant Program. In 1982,  the State of Maine began administering the CDBG Program to assist units of local government in various community projects in areas ranging from infrastructure, housing, downtown revitalization to public facilities and economic development.

To review the program statement, visit  https://www.maine.gov/decd/community-development/cdbg-program/statement

For more information about this program in Bath, contact Marc Meyers at mmeyers@cityofbath.com or 207-443-8330.
 


Morse Reuse Study: Survey Results Released from Second Virtual Workshop


The City of Bath is preparing for the future redevelopment of the existing Morse High School, located at 826 High Street. The public feedback component of the Morse High School Reuse Study was completed on November 13, 2020, and the results were compiled and released on December 14, 2020. A final report will be made available in early 2021.

Survey results released from second Virtual Workshop:

Presentation of Results
Full Survey Results

To learn more about the project, click here.


City of Bath Invites Second Round of Public Feedback on Morse High School Reuse Study


11/9/2020 UPDATE: The deadline for participating in the virtual workshop and survey has been extended to Friday, November 13.

The City of Bath is seeking its second round of public feedback as part of the Morse High School Reuse Options Study with a virtual workshop that will go live today, Friday, October 16. The virtual workshop will involve reviewing three conceptual options for reuse of the building and the site.

Following the initial public meeting about Morse redevelopment of June 2019, the City contracted with Harriman, a full-service practice in architecture, engineering, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture, to provide a reuse options study. The purpose of the study is to define and evaluate reuse of the school’s facilities and site, including site assessment, building analysis, feedback and reuse options. The first round of public feedback was held this summer.

The workshop is expected to take participants between 30-45 minutes and participants can save progress and return to finish at another time. The survey will be available until Friday, November 6. 

For more information about the study or to access the workshop, visit www.cityofbath.com/morse.

For additional questions or if you are unable to access the virtual workshop, contact Marc Meyers, Assistant City Manager, at (207) 443-8330 or mmeyers@cityofbath.com
 


Applications OPEN for Maine's Economic Recovery Grant Program


Applications are open for the second phase Maine's Economic Recovery Grant Program. Phase 2 will make available approximately $95 million in remaining funds from Phase 1 and expand access to the program by increasing the number of eligible businesses and non-profits. 

Mid Coast Economic Development District, of which Bath is a member, is the review body for Economic Recovery Grant applications in this region and will be able to provide some guidance/assistance for businesses/non-profits applying during this round.

Application Process:

Program Summary:

The Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program provides grants of up to $100,000 to businesses and non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be distributed based on a business/organization’s demonstrated losses as a pro-rated percentage of the total losses reported by qualified applicants. The grants are intended to assist in sustaining the viability of Maine businesses and non-profits. The program is not intended to replace lost profits.

How is Phase Two different from Phase One?

Phase 2 funding has been broadened to include businesses less than a year old, as well as businesses with up to 250 full-time equivalent employees or contractors.

Amount and Timing of Grant Awards:

  • If a business is determined to be eligible and selected for a grant award, a notice of grant amount will be sent via email by mid-November. (Award amounts will be calculated by Maine Revenue Services.)
  • Grant awards will be distributed by MCEDD via mail by the end of November.

MCEDD Technical Assistance:

For businesses located in the MCEDD region who have questions regarding the application or need to make corrections to an application they have submitted, please contact MCEDD at 207-443-5790 or 207-380-7094.

For further information regarding eligibility, frequently asked questions, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/decd/economic-recovery-grants


2021 Facade Improvement Grant Program


Applications are now available for the City of Bath’s Façade Improvement Grant Program 2021 grant period. The deadline to apply for 2021 grants is Dec.31, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. 

The program promotes economic development and stimulate business opportunities through a public-private partnership that offers economic incentives for the renovation, restoration, and preservation of the exterior of commercial and mixed used properties throughout many of the commercial areas in the City of Bath. The goals of the Façade Improvement Grant Program are to:

  • Increase the economic vitality and encourage private investment within core commercial zones in the City of Bath
  • Enhance the appearance of the streetscape in the downtown area and along the commercial corridor into the City
  • Strengthen or restore the original character of historic buildings
  • Allow for expanded commercial opportunities within the City of Bath
  • Act as a catalyst for continued investment and upkeep in commercial and mixed used properties within the City of Bath 

All applications will be reviewed for program eligibility and funding by City staff. Eligible applications will then be forwarded to the Economic Development Committee for review. 

View Guidelines

View Application

For more information, contact Marc Meyers at 207-443-8330 or mmeyers@cityofbath.com.
 


Morse High School Redevelopment and Reuse Survey Results


Results from June’s survey regarding the Morse High School redevelopment and reuse are now available on the City’s website. The next round of public feedback Is planned to take place in September of 2020.

This survey is part of the Morse High School Reuse Options Study that Harriman is conducting for the City. The purpose of the study is to define and evaluate reuse of the school’s facilities and site, including site assessment, building analysis, feedback and reuse options. 

For more information about the study or the survey results, visit www.cityofbath.com/morse.

For additional questions, contact Marc Meyers, Assistant City Manager, at (207) 443-8330 or mmeyers@cityofbath.com.
 


Bath Gets Creative to Support Local Business


The City of Bath is providing expanded pedestrian areas to allow small businesses to expand onto sidewalks and provide physical distancing to safely shop downtown. The initiative is part of a community campaign called “For the Love of Bath.”

The City’s plans are being funded, in part, by a $75,000 grant awarded through the State’s Keep Maine Healthy plan which was designed to help municipalities pay for COVID-19-related expenses. Beginning this weekend, the City will block off parking on the west side of Front Street (from City Hall to Country Farm Furniture) to create space for pedestrians to explore shops while maintaining social distancing. Picnic and bistro tables, distributed throughout the downtown, will also be installed to give patrons of curbside restaurants a place to dine. For downtown businesses outside this zone there will be an option to create a pop-up parklets in parking spaces in front of their storefronts. For an application, businesses should contact City Planner Ben Averill at baverill@cityofbath.com or call (207) 443-8363.

“As we prepare to make these changes, we recognize that health and safety precautions are paramount,” said City Manager Peter Owen. “We will be sanitizing high-touch surfaces in the downtown, like benches and tables. We also strongly recommend that everyone continue to follow the State’s masking guidelines as they enjoy Bath. Masking isn’t just about protecting yourself. This is an easy action we can take to protect our whole community.”

Bath is debuting a new slogan with the changes to its downtown. “For the Love of Bath” is a partnership between the City’s Economic Development Committee, Main Street Bath, Maine Maritime Museum and businesses and nonprofits all over Bath. It is intended to spread a message about staying safe, shopping local, and being kind to one another for the love of Bath. More information about the campaign, including a social media contest, will be available at www.fortheloveofbath.com in the coming days. Please include #fortheloveofbath on social media posts in the City to help spread the word. 

Owen said it has been encouraging to watch neighbors supporting neighbors during the Stay Safe at Home Order. 

“The City stepped up to assist local businesses by offering a $300,000 Economic Relief Bridge Loan Program in April. It’s my hope the changes in the downtown do even more to support local business owners. It’s important that we take every measure to support them; they represent the livelihood of our friends, family, and neighbors. Please be safe, and buy local.” 

Looking for parking opportunities in the downtown? Check out the City’s Parking Brochure


Public Feedback Needed for Morse Study


The City of Bath is seeking its first round of public feedback as part of the Morse High School Reuse Options Study with a virtual workshop that will go live today, Friday, June 12.

Following the initial public meeting about Morse redevelopment in June of 2019, the City contracted with Harriman, a full-service practice in architecture, engineering, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture, to provide a reuse options study. The purpose of the study is to define and evaluate reuse of the school’s facilities and site, including site assessment, building analysis, feedback and reuse options. 

The City originally planned for a public gathering to coincide with Alumni Weekend, but instead there will be a virtual workshop, featuring a presentation regarding regional and site analysis, existing conditions and market analysis and a survey on Morse High School and facility and site uses. The workshop is expected to take participants between 30-45 minutes and participants can save progress and return to finish at another time. The survey will be available until Friday, June 26. There is another public component of this study planned for August.

For more information about the study, presentation and survey, visit www.cityofbath.com/morse.

For additional questions or if you are unable to access the virtual workshop, contact Marc Meyers, Assistant City Manager, at (207) 443-8330 or mmeyers@cityofbath.com
 


Szanton Company Housing Development Presentation


The Szanton Company is proposing a housing development to add 50 apartments in downtown Bath, utilizing the former Bath Area Family YMCA property (26 Summer Street) and Moses (24 Summer Street) and Columbia (168-194 Front Street). The Szanton Company gave a presentation to City Council June 3 regarding an Affordable Housing Tax Increment Finance Application for the project. There will be a Public Hearing on the AH TIF application at City Council’s July 1 meeting.

View Presentation


Property Tax Exemption Application Deadline Extended


Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order extending the April 1, 2020 application deadline for certain property tax exemptions. The Executive Order was signed pursuant to the civil emergency proclamation, signed by the Governor on March 15, 2020.  
 
"Ordinarily, applications for certain property tax exemptions would be submitted by April 1 to be effective for a municipality’s property tax commitment. Now, the Executive Order extends the April 1, 2020 deadline to either the commitment date of the municipality or 30 days after the termination of the declared emergency, whichever occurs first.  The extended application deadline includes the following property tax exemptions: Property of Institutions and Organizations (36 M.R.S. § 652); Estates of Veterans (36 M.R.S. § 653(1)(G)); Solar and Wind Energy Equipment (36 M.R.S. §§ 655(1)(U) and 656(1)(K)); Exemption of Homesteads (36 M.R.S. § 684(1)); and Exemption of Business Equipment (“BETE”) (36 M.R.S. § 693(1))."
 
The Executive Order remains in effect until amended or rescinded.  If you have any questions about the extended deadline, please contact your municipal assessor or the Property Tax Division of Maine Revenue Services at (207) 624-5600.

In Bath, the commitment date is generally the end of August. Thus, Bath property owners may apply for Homestead, Veterans and Solar exemptions until the end of August, or 30 days after the end of the emergency. Business owners whose business personal property is eligible for the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) program also have an extension.

View Tax Exemption Applications related to Homestead, Blind Persons, Veteran's, Veteran's Survivor Exemptions 

View Tax Exemption Applications related to Solar and Wind Energy Equipment

View Tax Exemption Applications related to Exemption of Business Equipment (BETE)


Elm-Front Street Redesign Project - Feedback Needed!


The City of Bath and its consultant, TJDA, has completed work on design alternative concept options for the area of Elm and Front Streets. Check out the website and participate in the survey. Public feedback will help refine this design moving forward as we look  to improve this area in the future. 

Survey website: http://bit.ly/BathElmFront  
Project website: https://www.cityofbathmaine.gov/Elm-FrontRedesignProject
 






General Information
Phone Numbers
207-443-8363
Emergencies: Dial 911
Location
55 Front Street
Bath,
ME
04530

Monday - Thursday
7:30 AM - 12:00PM, 1:00PM - 5:30 PM