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Maine Voters Approve $35 Million in Tech-based ED Bonds

June 14, 2002

The results of Tuesday's primary election in Maine reveal the state's voters continue to be committed to improving their economy through technology-based economic development. Winning approval at the ballot was Question 2, allocating $35 million in bond revenues for 11 specific projects - a majority of which were tied directly to research and technology-based economic development.

Maine-based biomedical research institutions will receive $5.5 million to be used to obtain matching federal funds for health research to cure disease, other medical R&D, and to retain Maine graduates by providing quality Maine jobs.

Nine million dollars will be used to construct manufacturing centers at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. The product development and support facilities will enable the institutions to help Maine industries to solve daily manufacturing and engineering problems.

The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will receive $8 million to create and retain Maine jobs through the funding of community, regional and state business financing programs. Included in FAME's portfolio are investment tax credits and a Small Enterprise Growth Fund than can invest up to $500,000 in promising companies that demonstrate a potential for high growth and public benefit.

To facilitate job creation through the development and redevelopment of commercial and industrial buildings in rural Maine, the new Maine Rural Development Authority will be capitalized with $6 million from the bond issue.

A $400,000 slice of the bond will be used for renovation of buildings and associated infrastructure at the Schoodic Education and Research Center. State bond funds will match $4 million in federal funds to redevelop a naval base in Winter Harbor.

Four million dollars will be used to recapitalize the Municipal Investment Trust Fund to provide loans and grants to municipalities for public infrastructure to support economic development and other related purposes of the fund.

The $2 million balance of the $34.97 million bond issue will be used for four arts, tourism and security projects.