At their June 20, 2019 monthly meeting, the board of directors of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) approved financing for two projects, one of which will help to provide care and support for Maine veterans while the other will help to renovate Millinocket’s local nonprofit library.
The board approved conduit bond financing of $20 million for Maine Veterans’ Homes, a nonprofit organization which provides care and support for military veterans. The financing will help to finance the construction of a 179,000 square-foot, 138-bed residential and long-term care facility in Augusta.
The FAME Board found that the project will help to make a significant contribution to the welfare of Maine residents by replacing an important but outdated facility for the care of local veterans. The plan is to construct four two-story buildings, including three residential housing buildings.
FAME’s Revenue Obligations Securities Program provides tax-exempt bond financing to eligible borrowers without any recourse or obligation on the part of the state. The bonds carry no liability or credit enhancement on the part of FAME or the state. FAME acts as a conduit for borrowers in order to allow them to access favorable interest rates and to help stimulate the economy and create and retain Maine jobs.
FAME’s utilization of tax-exempt private activity bonds has helped to create and retain thousands of Maine jobs in recent years. The projects financed in recent years range from not-for-profit health and higher education projects to solid waste improvements and public infrastructure.
“Maine Veterans’ Homes very much appreciates FAME’s assistance in helping us to access lower-cost financing for this important project designed to help provide care and support for Maine veterans,” stated Kelley Kash, Chief Executive Officer.
The FAME Board also approved the issuance of $517,312 in tax credits through the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program related to approximately $1.3 million in investments to help renovate the Millinocket Memorial Library.
Formerly operated by the town but now operated as a local nonprofit, the library has grown in use by the community, offering not only traditional library services but also used by other organizations for meetings and functions.
The project involves a major renovation of the fifty-six-year-old library building, to not only address code compliance and safety issues, but also to dramatically increase the effective use of space to enable the library to achieve its visionary objectives. Future planned uses include: career counseling; computer learning; health and wellness workshops; nutrition and cooking workshops and advice; domestic violence outreach and counseling; and community engagement meetings.
The qualified Maine investment is being made alongside a federal New Markets Tax Credit qualifying investment, which will result in a total investment of approximately $2 million, comprised of approximately $1 million of tax credit equity and another $1 million in donations and grants that the library has or will obtain for the project.
FAME has administered the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program since the Legislature created it in 2011. It does so in cooperation with Maine Revenue Services. The program is designed to attract investment in economically distressed areas of the state. It allows eligible investors to claim tax credits against state taxes in amounts up to 39 percent of a project’s total cost. The maximum aggregate amount of tax credit authority is set forth at $250 million, of which after today approximately $4 million remains.
“FAME is pleased to help with financing for these important projects, which will help our veterans obtain quality housing and the Millinocket area develop an important community resource,” stated Jay Violette, FAME Board chair.
“We are grateful for FAME’s assistance with our plans for the Millinocket Memorial Library,” stated Matt Delaney, Director. “The financing will help us renovate the building and help transform it into a community center for the benefit of area residents and organizations.” The Maine Library Association recently recognized Delaney as Maine’s “Outstanding Librarian of the Year” for 2018.
FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities. FAME helps to lead the creation of good paying jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus between economic and workforce development. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com.