Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC)

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the result of several years of work by The Center and many organizations across the region and by much of the region’s congressional delegation. The Commission’s focus is to help address the community and economic development needs of the most severely distressed portions of the Northern Forest region. A basic overview of the Commission is available from the National Association of Development Organizations.

The NBRC is an important regional coordination mechanism for the Northern Forest states as well as a potentially significant new source of investment for economic and community development in the region. The Center coordinates with NBRC stakeholders across the region, with the Commission members (a federal co-chair and the region’s four governors), and with the regional congressional delegation to align the work of the Commission with regional priorities and to secure additional funding for its activities.

Contact Sandy Blitz, Co-Chair of the Northern Border Regional Commission for more information:

202-590-6650 Send Email


 

  • 2014 Farm Bill Becomes Law - 02/14/14

     

    President Obama signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill on February 7th, 2014. The new law provides many important authorizations for rural development, energy, forestry, and conservation programs that serve the Northern Forest. This is a significant step forward after Congress delayed passing a Farm Bill for two years. Congratulations to all the advocates and partners that worked hard to make sure a collective voice for the Northern Forest was heard in the process.

     

    Some provisions of note:

     

    Conservation (Title II)

    ·         Conservation Stewardship Program: Authorizes through 2018. Removes the 10% enrollment cap on nonindustrial private forestland acreage

    ·         Environmental Quality Incentives Program & Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program: Consolidates WHIP with EQIP, with at least 5 percent of EQIP funds set aside for WHIP funding. Funded at: $1.35 billion for 2014, $1.65 billion for 2015-2017, $1.75 billion for 2018

     

    Rural Development (Title VI)

    ·         Mandatory Funding: includes $228 million in mandatory funding (the last Farm Bill included $150 million in mandatory funding for rural development). Mandatory money in this bill includes.

    o   $150 million for Water and Waste Water Program

    o   $63 million for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program

    o   $15 million for the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program

    o   $100 million for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development

    ·         RBEG/RBOG consolidation: Rural Business Opportunity Grants and Rural Business Enterprise Grants are combined in to a new program: Rural Business Development Grants, authorized at $65 million annually through 2018. No more than 10% of appropriated funding may be used for RBOG grants.

    ·         Strategic Economic and Community Development: Authorizes the Secretary to prioritize and use up to 10% of funding for projects that support regional approaches to community and economic development.

    ·         Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zones: Reauthorizes this initiative, which includes the VT REAP zone.

    ·         Northern Border Regional Commission: Reauthorizes at $30 million annually through 2018. Eliminates cap on administrative expense if annual appropriations are less than $10 million.

     

    Forestry (Title VIII)

    ·         State-Wide Assessment and Strategies for Forest Resources. Extends the program through 2018.

    ·         Forest Legacy Program, Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program: The conference report does not include provisions of the House version that would have capped annual funding for these programs.

     

    Energy (Title IX)

    ·         Rural Energy for American Program (REAP): Mandatory funding at $50 million a year from 2014 – 2018. Allows RC&D councils to be eligible for energy audit and technical assistance portion of the program. Sets up a tiered application process based on funding.

    ·         Community Wood Energy Program: Reauthorizes at $5 million annually and expands to include consumer cooperatives.

     

    Additional Resources

    Sources for the information above and good places to get the full details on the bill include:

    ·         Forestry Provisions- Comparison of House and Senate-Passed Farm Bills and final Conference Report  (American Forest Foundation)

    ·         Full Conference Report

  • Northern Border Regional Commission announces 2013 grants - 10/10/13

    The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) announced the winners of its 2013 round of grants. The Commission’s focus is to help address the community and economic development needs of the most severely distressed portions of the Northern Forest region.

    New York – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority received $100,000 for a high-speed telecommunications fiber optic system at the commerce park. The Port of Oswego is receiving $192,000.

    Maine – The town of Dover-Foxcroft received $200,000 to refurbish a hydroelectric plant at a former downtown woolen mill. Also, Jackman, ME is applying $68,000 to expand the Newton Field Airport hangar.

    New Hampshire – The Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital Association will receive $200,000 and $145,000 goes to the Grafton County Economic Development Council.

    Vermont
    – The Vermont Center for Geographic Information has been awarded $169,100. Similarly, the Vermont Global Trade Partnership is getting $186,000.

  • Northern Border Regional Commission Opens 2013 Grant Process- Applications Due July 15 - 05/24/13

    The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) has begun accepting applications for grants to be awarded by the end of September, 2013. Approximately $1.2 million is available with a maximum grant size of $200,000. The application deadline is July 15, 2013.

     

    Eligible projects must develop the infrastructure of the region; assist in providing job skills and employment related education; provide basic health care and other public services for areas that are severely economically distressed; promote resources conservation, tourism, and recreation; or promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.

     

    Interested applicants should contact:

    Maine: Department of Economic Development, 207-624-9804

    New Hampshire: Department of Resources and Economic Development, 603-271-2341

    Vermont: Agency of Commerce:  802-828-5236

    New York: Department of State: 518-473-3355

     

    Notice of Funding Availability

    Application Package

    Application Form

  • Northern Border Commission Announces 2012 Grant Awards - 10/10/12

    According to press articles, Northern Border Regional Commission grants in 2012 include the following. Detail on each of these projects can be found by clicking on the “News Articles” tab above.

     

    Maine
    $250,000 to three St. John Valley communities to promote expanded tourism and economic development opportunities

     

    New Hampshire
    $200,000 to Northern Community Investment Corp. to construct a 195-foot tower on Groveton's Morse Mountain to improve broadband and cell service for central Coos County.

     

    Vermont
    $249,982 to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail for construction of a 93-mile, four-season, multi-use trail across northern Vermont.

    $123,465 grant to the Northeast Kingdom will to complement the recently announced $170 million expansion of the Jay Peak Resort.

     

    New York
    $123,500 to the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena to construct a rail spur on the existing CSX St. Lawrence Subdivision
    $158,120 to The Wild Center to help implement its Northern New York Maple project.

     

  • Northern Border Commission Announces 2011 Grant Awards - 11/10/11

    According to press articles, Northern Border Regional Commission grants in 2011 include the following. Detail on each of these projects can be found by clicking on the “News Articles” tab above.

    Maine
    $200,000 to the town of Van Buren toward the construction of a vegetable-processing plant to help expand markets for local farmers.
    $50,000 to Northern Maine Finance Corp. in Caribou to establish a public-private partnership aimed at linking entrepreneurs with investors to grow business and jobs in Aroostook and Washington counties.

     

    New Hampshire
    $200,000 to Northern Community Investment Corp. for visitor information kiosks for tourists along Route 3 in New Hampshire’s North Country.
    $225,000 to the Grafton County Economic Development Council for construction of a business incubator in Plymouth.
    $225,000 to the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council to extend the access road to the Technology Village off Route 16 in Conway.

     

    Vermont
    $128,500 to Lyndon State College and the Northeastern Vermont Development Association to create collaboration among Northeast Kingdom manufacturers and expand training programs.

    $78,190 to the town of Brighton to build a 2,100-foot lakeside walking path that will connect to downtown to enhance tourism and recreation in the community.

     

    New York
    $250,000 to Clayton Local Development Corp. to install water and wastewater systems for the proposed $35 million Frink Hotel.
    $95,320 to Lewis County Development Corp. to rehabilitate a railway spur that connects to the former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill site, which the agency is attempting to redevelop as a business park.
     

  • House Appropriates $1.35 million for Northern Border Regional Commission in FY12 - 07/29/11

    On July 15 the House approved a fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill containing $1,350,000 for the Northern Border Regional Commission and continuing a waiver of the 10% cap on the Commission’s administrative expenses. The bill must pass the Senate before becoming law. The Commission received $1.5 million in annual funding in FY10 and FY11.

  • Northern Border Regional Commission Opens 2012 Grant Process- Applications Due Aug 29 - 07/29/11

    The region’s congressional delegation announced July 26 that the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will begin accepting applications for federal assistance beginning August 1st, with the goal of awarding approximately $1.25 million by September 30th. Eligible projects must develop the infrastructure of the region; assist in providing job skills and employment related education; provide basic health care and other public services for areas that are severely economically distressed; promote resources conservation, tourism, and recreation; or promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources. Applications are due August 29.

     

    As with last year, the application process is different in each state. Contact the appropriate group listed below to get more information.

     

    Maine
    Contact your local economic development district:
    Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments
    in Auburn, (207) 783-9186
    Eastern Maine Development Corporation
    in Bangor, (207) 942-6389
    Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
    in Fairfield, (207) 453-4258
    Northern Maine Development Commission
    in Caribou, (207) 498-8736
     

    New Hampshire
    Contact North Country Council (603) 444-6303
     

    Vermont
    Contact one of the Vermont delegation’s district offices by calling:
    Ted Brady (Senator Leahy): 802-229-0569
    David Weinstein (Senator Sanders): 802 862-0697
    Brent Raymond (Representative Welch): 802-652-2450

     

    New York
    Application forms and additional information are available at www.dos.ny.gov/communityprojects/funding.html. Submissions must be postmarked by August 29, 2011 and mailed AND emailed to: New York Department of State, Attention Kyle Wilber, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231, (518) 473-3355, nbrcgrant@dos.state.ny.us 

  • $1.25 million in border development money on the way - 07/28/11

    Due: August 29, 2011
    The Northern Border Regional Commission has announced a new round of funding for economically strapped Canadian border regions of Maine, New York and Vermont.
    The commission plans Aug. 1 to begin accepting applications for the money and to announce how it will award the $1.25 million available by Sept. 30.
    Bangor Daily News article link

  • House Committee Recommends $1.35 million for Northern Border Regional Commission in FY12 - 06/16/11

    On June 15 the House Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill containing $1,350,000 for the Northern Border Regional Commission and continuing a waiver of the 10% cap on the Commission’s administrative expenses. The bill must pass the full House and Senate before becoming law. The Commission received $1.5 million in annual funding in FY10 and FY11.

  • Northern Border Regional Commission Receives $1.5 million in FY11 Funding - 04/25/11

    The continuing resolution for the remainder of federal FY11- passed by Congress on April 15- includes $1.5 million in appropriations for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). The Commission was funded at the same level in FY’10, when it awarded over $1 million in grants to economic development projects across the Northern Forest. With the FY11 appropriation, NBRC Federal Co-chair Sandy Blitz reports that the Commission will have a grant award program this year. He expects the grant announcement to be available in June.


    The FY11 appropriations bill also includes a waiver of the 10% cap on NBRC administrative expenses.