We continue to watch the Gig.U project with interest as some universities are teaming up with providers to deliver gigabit services to selected areas, generally around high tech campuses. One of the first project announcements has come from Orono, Maine. The University of Maine and a private company called GWI are teaming up to bring… Continue reading
Viewing the Maine tag archive
Current providers won’t encourage the competition necessary to improve service and cut costs.
Last January, as the economy spiraled downward, Time Warner did what no other company could have gotten away with under the circumstances: It imposed a price increase of as much as 5.5 percent on its Maine customers.
Meanwhile, the state’s other major broadband Internet provider, FairPoint, has amassed a stunning track record of mismanagement and abysmal customer service.
In late-May 2005, Maine’s governor signed LD 1128, which clarifies local government authority to offer Internet services. The act also instructs the State Planning Office to study the “economic, technological and funding issues associated with municipalities providing wireless Internet services to their communities.” Continue reading
Enacted in June 2007, the Informed Growth Act stipulates that cities conduct an economic impact analysis for proposed stores larger than 75,000 square feet (roughly half the size of a typical Target or Home Depot). After considering the findings of the analysis and testimony taken at a public hearing, a town may approve such a project only if it concludes that the store would not have an undue adverse impact on the local economy. Continue reading
This bill would impose a 3 percent tax on the gross receipts (total sales) of any stores over 60,000 square feet that are located outside of a downtown. Continue reading
The Maine legislature has given its approval to a bill that requires cities and towns to evaluate the economic effects of large-scale retail development and to approve only those projects that will not have an adverse impact on jobs, local businesses, and municipal finances. The legislation is the first of its kind in the nation. Continue reading
State lawmakers are now considering a bill, the Informed Growth Act, that would give all Maine communities a process for evaluating the costs and benefits of large retail projects.
Many local officials would undoubtedly reconsider big-box projects if they knew that a new mega-store would eliminate more jobs than it creates, or that it would cost the city more in public services than it generates in tax revenue . But most cities do not assess the likely economic impacts of retail development. They assume that these stores expand the local economy and approve them blind to the potential costs. Legislation under consideration in Maine would remedy this by stipulating that cities may approve stores over 75,000 square feet only after an independent economic analysis is conducted. Continue reading